Published: 15:00, 30 May 2019
| Updated: 15:24, 30 May 2019
A special school has set its sights on recruiting a teacher's pet to help with pupils' wellbeing.
Bower Grove School, in Fant Lane, Maidstone, has launched a fundraising effort with a target of £3,500 to help pay for the dog and its training.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up and £415 has already been donated.
Posting on the page the Bower Grove School said the dog would be used during meet and greets, playtimes and as a welcome distraction to emotionally charged situations.
The statement read: "Our school dog will have a hugely positive impact on the wellbeing of our pupils who all have diagnosed Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
"Research has shown that school dogs are a powerful, cost-effective way of helping children feel more secure at school and it has been suggested that the soothing presence of a dog reduces anxiety, builds up children's wellbeing and promotes social interaction.
"A wellbeing dog would be a positive addition to our Bower Grove family."
The money raised would be used to fund the initial cost of the dog, training, insurance, ongoing health care, and everyday costs such as food.
The post on the Go Fund Me page continued: "Bower Grove is a community day special school for children and young people aged between four and 16 years of age.
"We provide the pupils who attend Bower Grove with a high quality of education, accessible to learners of varied abilities and different learning styles, whilst taking into consideration their learning difficulties and social, emotional, behavioural and mental health needs.
"The school is designated for 212 pupils with learning difficulties, associated Autism Spectrum Condition and many of our pupils have communication difficulties or ADHD.
"Our aim is to provide an innovative and inclusive school in which pupils and staff are valued as individuals and are motivated to achieve their potential within a happy, healthy and safe environment.
"In partnership with parents, carers and other agencies we strive to meet individual needs to enable our pupils to confidently progress into adult life.
"At Bower Grove we are fortunate in our ability to offer pupils interventions that focus on their mental health and wellbeing as well as curriculum needs.
"A wellbeing dog will allow us to give support to a huge number of pupils in direct and indirect ways."
To donate or find out more visit tinyurl.com/bowerdog
More by this authorGuy Bell