School Dog - Beau

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We are pleased to introduce you to a new member of staff, Beau our school dog. Beau was born in March 2021 and he is a Brown/White Spaniel who is in training as a school wellbeing dog who will become an integral part of our community. Beau has been introduced slowly over the last term and has been a big hit with staff and students. He is making good progress with his training, passing his Kennel Club puppy course in July 2021. He is now moving onto his Kennel Club Bronze award which hopefully, he will complete in early September.

He is showing himself to have a kind and tolerant nature and therefore we are looking to expand his role from September 2021. On the days he is in school, he will have his own timetable, attend meetings, support anxious students and be involved in key intervention/activities.

We have set up a couple of ways to request Beau's support. Staff can refer and ask for Beau's support with students or activities, but also parents and students can now email Beau at Beau@tas-tkat.org.

There are many benefits of having a school dog.

  • Learning including reading and literacy– reading to dogs has been proven to help children develop literacy skills and build confidence, through both the calming effect the dog’s presence has on children as well as the fact that a dog will listen to children read without being judgemental or critical. This comforting environment helps to nurture children’s enthusiasm for reading and provides them with the confidence to read aloud.

  • Self-esteem and interest for all students and especially some of our most vulnerable groups

  • Emotional support -Anger management, Bereavement

  • Lift’s mood – they often provoke laughter and fun

  • Developing responsibility

  • Reducing stress interaction with a ‘furry friend’ reduces blood-pressure,

  • Dogs can also teach compassion and respect for other living things as well as relieving anxiety;

  • Love and support for groups of students

  • Knowledge and understanding of animals

  • A feel and sense of community – a dog in a school increases the sense of a family environment, with all of the above benefits continuing long after the school day is over


Frequently Asked Questions

My child is allergic to dogs

It is understandable that some of you may be concerned about possible allergic reactions to a school dog. However, Beau will be subjected to the most thorough cleaning and grooming regime. He will also only be allowed in situations with students who voluntarily wish to work with him. Your permission will of course be sought in advance of Beau having access to, and working with, your child in school.

Will Beau be properly cared for?

Beau will be extremely well looked after. He will live with a member of staff and their family and will come to school most days but will stay safely in the offices until satisfactory training has been completed. He will then, in time, listen to students read in a controlled setting and will always be accompanied by a trained adult. Beau will undergo thorough and rigorous training (beginning with puppy classes) so will be extremely well-behaved. Whilst Beau is in school he will have access to a dog crate in the offices where he can relax during his non-contact time. Beau will visit the vet regularly for all his injections as well as regular check-ups. If Beau is unwell for any reason he will stay at home with a baby-sitter!

My child is scared of dogs

Some children may have had upsetting experiences and/or have a fear of dogs (or other animals). Beau will only be in contact with children whose parents are happy for their child to work with him. However, Beau’s training will help him to be calm and gentle around children; he is already showing signs of a very loving and gentle nature. Experience and research has shown that, with proper guidance and handling, children can learn to overcome their fear of animals and grow in respect and appreciation for them.

The school has a ‘no dogs’ policy

Our school does have a ‘no dogs’ policy. However, as Beau is training to be a ‘wellbeing’ dog, specific rules will apply to him, as a member of staff. He will be on a lead when moving around the school site and will always be accompanied by a trained adult. Beau will also be fully insured to carry out his role thus allowing him to be on the school site. Beau will not be allowed to roam the site freely so there will be no issues with toileting etc.

To support this, we have also developed a robust risk assessment and routines to keep all members of our community safe and the dog happy and secure. However, the key points are highlighted below.

· Pupils will not be left unsupervised with the dog and there will always be adult supervision from staff experienced with dogs

· No child, or adult, will need to come into contact with the dog unless they want to

· There will be no direct cost to the school and the dog will be fully insured in and out of school

· The school dog will be professionally trained prior to coming into school and this will continue with staff and students in the future

· The dog will not be left at school overnight and will be promised a loving home after the “day job” is over!

Contact Beau - Wellbeing Dog