Bart to the rescue
St Benedict’s has introduced a therapy dog to the school, to help pupils with exam nerves.
Bart is a very friendly 7 year-old Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen who belongs to Jonathan Edgar, Lay Chaplain at St Benedict’s. Over the exam period, Bart has taken up residence in the chaplaincy centre, where he is more than happy to meet pupils of all ages – at break, at lunchtime, and whenever they have a spare five minutes to come in and say hello.
Bart is proving very popular, and is doing a great job in calming exam nerves, which seems to confirm Sir Anthony Seldon’s view that “every school should have a dog or another pet to reduce stress.” The University of Buckingham vice-chancellor said: "The evidence is very clear that it works, and every single school - primary, secondary, special - should have dogs.”
The Education Secretary Damian Hinds has noted that more schools seem to have ‘wellbeing dogs’: "At first I was a bit surprised, but actually it's a great thing”, although he added that there were no plans for a "central dog policy".