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School hires ‘therapy’ greyhound to help stressed teachers

School hires ‘therapy’ greyhound Betty to help stressed teachers during GCSE exam season as part of ‘well-being week’ of pilates and meditation

  • Ilkley Grammar School in West Yorkshire is running teachers’ well-being week
  • Activities include spa treatments, meditation, pilates and end-of-week pub quiz
  • A therapy greyhound was also brought into school from animal charity
  • Critics say the school should be doing more to help under-pressure students 

A school has hired a therapy dog to help its stressed-out teachers unwind during exam season.

Ilkley Grammar School in West Yorkshire recruited greyhound charity Betty from Pets As Therapy as part of a ‘well-being week’ for its staff to coincide with pupils taking their GCSEs.

The week of activities also includes pilates classes, spa treatments and meditation and ends with a pub quiz.

But the idea has been branded ‘bonkers’ by critics who say the teachers should be trying to relieve the pressure on students, not themselves.

Staff at Ilkley Grammar School, pictured, in West Yorkshire are having a ‘well-being week’ to reduce stress with activities including pilates classes, spa treatments and meditation

A source told The Sun: ‘The world’s gone mad. The kids are currently in the middle of their GCSEs for goodness sake.

‘They’re stressed to bits, under pressure, worried about their futures. And yet, while they’re sitting their exams, their teachers are sat stroking and petting a dog to try and unwind. It’s utterly bonkers.’

But school operations manager Susie Leach defended the well-being week.

She told the paper: ‘It’s definitely the right thing to do. Teachers have a really challenging job, and that comes across in terms of workload and stress levels.’

Parents at the school, rated outstanding by Ofsted, have also been asked by headteacher Helen Williams to donate prizes to a teachers’ raffle, with a Prosecco afternoon tea and a two-day getaway already up for grabs.

In a letter to parents, she said the well-being week aimed to ‘support the staff’ so it could benefit the school community as a whole.

The secondary school, which is an academy, has around 1,600 pupils aged 11-to-18.

Previously parents have been asked to voluntarily donate £180 per year to the school to cover changes in funding.


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