Labradoodle Tilly is currently in training to become Cheadle Heath’s very own school dog. She is owned by, and lives with, Ms Meekley our Headteacher. The labradoodle breed was chosen as this breed is hypoallergenic, child-friendly, sociable and easy to train.
Tilly will be a fully-fledged member of our school community. She was born on 24th May 2021 and will slowly be exposed to the school environment during the autumn term. She will start by coming into school for short periods of time and will slowly be introduced to children in small groups. While in school, her main place of residence will be in the Headteacher's office, which is secure and separate from the classrooms. She will undertake training with ‘The Dog Mentor’ to develop her role in school along with a small number of staff who will be her handlers in school. Children will be able to interact with Tilly under strict supervision at certain times of the day / week. As she grows older her timetable in school and the work she will do with children will increase. She will not be allowed to roam the school grounds and will be supervised at all times.
We have been considering having a school dog for some time as research shows the vast benefits to children’s social andemotional development. Whilst interacting with animals is not appropriate for all children, for the majority, it has the potential to provide multiple positive benefits. Risk assessments have been carried out but parents can withdraw permission for their child to be in contact with the dog. We look forward to sharing Tilly's adventures in school with you!