Bart, St Benedicts Therapy Dog

Bart, the St Benedict’s therapy dog

St Benedict’s, Ealing, has introduced a therapy dog to the school, to help pupils with exam nerves.

Bart, a very friendly 7 year-old Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, has taken up residence at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, 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”.

Alfie, who is in Year 7 at St Benedict’s, said: “I really like coming in to see Bart, even though my exams finished two weeks ago!”