Meet Oscar: The teachers pet

London: Meet Oscar: The teacher`s pet! Well, a school in Britain has recruited the chocolate labrador in an attempt to help some students with behavioural problems.

The friendly dog is part of the Cantell Maths and Computing College`s restorative approaches policy for pupils who cause trouble in class or have fallen out with friends — and, incredibly those problems have been almost halved since Oscar arrived, the `Daily Mail` reported.

As part of the scheme, students are provided with a secluded classroom, where they can carry on with their work, or seek comfort from staff, including Oscar. Since he was introduced to the school in Southampton a month ago staff have noticed a dramatic 40 per cent cut in student misbehaviour.

Restorative approaches policy coordinator Des Anderson was quoted as saying, "He`s a best mate for kids. Sometimes we get students who come in and they`re angry and Oscar goes over and calms them down, because it`s very difficult to be angry with a labrador. It means we can work with them within the hour, rather than having to wait until the next day. Rather than having a punitive approach we`ve a restorative approach where we try to get them to acknowledge what they`ve done wrong. It might be falling out, it might be bad behaviour, it might be having a bad time somewhere else."

"Our mantra is this is a safe place to have a difficult conversation. We record everything and I would say we`ve reduced the incidents that we have to deal with by 40 per cent since September. But what`s really key is we have improved the students`ability to put things right."

Oscar spends every day in the school where he plays with the children or simply sits while they read to him or just sit and stroke him.