A school in Stroud has welcomed a four-legged furry friend onto its register - in the form of Monty the golden retriever puppy.

Monty joined Stroud High School in October as the newest member of the student services team and has been helping the girls at the school to relax and de-stress between lessons.


The bundle of golden joy has already proved a huge hit with staff and students who say that having him in the school corridors brightens up everyone's day.

Jo Harrison, who works in student support services and takes Monty home each night, said that the five month old pup is a huge asset to the school, and her family.


"I'd researched getting a therapy dog for my son as he is autistic and I knew it would benefit him," Jo said.

"After looking into all the options, such as the best breed to get and how to look after the puppy, I realised that I would need to find someone to look after him during the day.


"That's when we decided to look at how having a therapy dog in the school might benefit the students too."

Pupils say that Monty has made a big difference already, they can book time to give him a cuddle, or take it in turns to take him for a walk around school grounds.


"He is so much fun, you can't help smiling when you see him," 13 year old Lottie Trunks said.

"I was one of the members of the well-being council last year and one of the things we did was to help get Monty."

Research has shown the benefits of having therapy dogs in schools, helping to put pupils at ease, create a calmer atmosphere and give children a sense of responsibility.


Stroud High School was recently accredited with the Mental Health Champions Award in recognition of the school's "sense of direction, enthusiasm and inclusion regarding emotional health and wellbeing of [the school's] young people."

Headteacher Mark McShane said: "Monty is a fabulous addition to the school community.

"It's great to see pupils, staff and parents enjoying him."