1st July 2019
Dear Parents/Carers
For a very long time now, we have been exploring the possibility of having a school dog and have spent many hours researching, reading, e-mailing and talking to people. The process of acquiring a school dog, when done correctly, is refined and complex and takes considerable and lengthy planning.

A school puppy should be of a certain type, come from a reputable breeder and from a very young age should be introduced to its future surroundings. Of very significant consideration also, are the owners.

As you know, we have had Frank the Dog visiting us for quite some time now and the positive impact he has had upon some of our children is extremely evident but he has limited availability and has a cost per session attached to him which sadly has now become prohibitive.
Research shows that having a school dog has many benefits including:
• A calming effect on pupils
• Improved behaviour and concentration
• Reduced stress and improved self esteem
• Increased confidence
• Developing a sense of responsibility and respect to all life
• Motivation
• Respecting and nurturing of relationships
• Improved attendance
• Increased reading skills

As from September, I am therefore delighted to be able to tell you that we will be welcoming Bracken to our school staff.

Bracken is a Fox Red Labrador who has been carefully selected for her excellent breed and reputable heritage. Bracken’s parents are both pure bred Fox Red Labradors. Her legal owner will be Mrs Parrish.

Considerable research was undertaken before Bracken was purchased. Her breeder is renowned for the breeding of well-natured, calm and sociable dogs that make good, well behaved pets and working dogs. The breeder is a 5 star, highest rating, Kennel Club breeder, and both the sire and dam were health checked to the highest standard before producing the 8 puppies they reared.

Bracken comes with a five generation pedigree certificate.

Bracken will be starting to visit school over the next few weeks, helping her to acclimatise to our school surroundings, the noise and smells.
We have undertaken this venture with the seriousness that it affords. We have been very thorough in every angle of our research. We have put a School Dog Policy in place, which can be found on our school website. Additionally risk assessments have been carried out, all required and appropriate insurances are in place, a dog contract between Mrs Parrish and the school has been agreed, as well as all the necessary training for Bracken to make sure her behaviour is of the high and exceptional standard we expect.

Bracken will be under the supervision of an appropriate adult whilst in the school building and on school premises. When working and in the presence of the children, she will be on her lead. Children will never be left unattended with her. She will have a ‘rest’ kennel/cage outside the staffroom which will be out of bounds to the children – and she will have considerable rest periods structured into her day.

Additionally, just as we have school rules, the children will be taught ‘dog rules’.

We are very aware that some children may have a dog phobia and/or allergy. To this end, we would be grateful if you could complete the attached proforma.

No children will be encouraged or required to work with, or be with Bracken if they do not want to.

Yours sincerely
Sarah Hurwood
Headteacher

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Bracken, Our School Dog.

My child ………………………………………………………………………in……………………………………………………………Class

Please clearly circle as appropriate

Is allergic to dogs Yes/No

Is dog phobic Yes/No

I consent to my child having contact with Bracken, the school dog Yes/No

Name of Parent/Carer………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Parent/Carer Signature………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Date……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..