Each college ought to have a canine or one other pet to cut back stress within the classroom, says Sir Anthony Seldon.
The College of Buckingham vice-chancellor says it’s “a powerfully cost-effective method of serving to youngsters really feel safer at colleges”.
Sir Anthony was talking at a convention about the necessity to enhance younger individuals’s sense of wellbeing.
Schooling Secretary Damian Hinds says extra colleges appear to have “wellbeing canines” and “the pets can actually assist”.
The College of Buckingham’s Final Wellbeing in Schooling Convention examined how to reply to the stresses and anxieties dealing with younger individuals.
Mr Hinds advised the convention that the relentless presence of social media made rising up “extra pressurised”.
He mentioned this might be all-pervasive for youngsters, making them evaluate their very own experiences with the “good lives” on social media.
It might additionally normalise publicity to dangerous materials on topics like self-harm or consuming issues, he added.
The training secretary referred to as for extra consideration to be paid to methods of increase youngsters’s wellbeing, similar to educating emotional resilience and a way of “character”.
Sir Anthony has been a longstanding advocate of the necessity for colleges and universities to pay far more consideration to psychological well being.
He advised the convention, held on the Westminster Academy in west London, that it was not doable for colleges to focus solely on educational achievement with out excited about the emotional wellbeing of pupils.
His campaigns have helped to boost consciousness in regards to the prevalence of psychological well being issues on college campuses – and he has argued for extra recognition for the dangers from drug use.
However Sir Anthony recommended one other extra low-tech method to lowering nervousness – the soothing presence of animals similar to canines.
“The quickest and largest hit that we are able to make to enhance psychological well being in our colleges and to make them really feel secure for kids, is to have no less than one canine in each single college within the nation,” mentioned Sir Anthony.
“As a result of youngsters can relate to animals when they’re harm and anxious and unhappy in a method that they cannot all the time with human beings.
“It is going to be a powerfully cost-effective method of serving to youngsters really feel safer at colleges.
“It is very simple to do, it’s extremely cost-effective, the proof could be very clear that it really works, and each single college – main, secondary, particular – ought to have canines.
“It is exhausting to consider a better, faster profit,” he mentioned.
Universities have more and more been bringing pets on to campuses at examination occasions, as a method of lowering stress.
Paws for thought
However the training secretary mentioned that his visits had proven him how frequent “wellbeing canines” have been turning into in colleges.
“That is a type of issues that wasn’t round once I was in school,” mentioned Mr Hinds.
“I hadn’t actually realised the incidence of it till I used to be training secretary.
“First I used to be a bit shocked, however really it is an excellent factor.
“For the children it may be actually uplifting, significantly those who have other ways of expressing themselves and popping out of themselves – and the canine or the pets can actually assist.”
However he mentioned there have been no plans for a “central canine coverage”.