Animals in School Policy

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Policy for Animals in School
Summer 2015
Page 1 of 4
Monkwick Junior School
Policy for Animals in School
It is intended that this policy cover the following:
1. Animals intentionally or inadvertently brought on to School Property without
permission
2. Animals intentionally brought on to School Property for a known reason.
3. Animals kept at School as classroom pets.
4. Wild animals found on school property
1. Animals intentionally or inadvertently brought on to School Property without
permission
Monkwick Junior School recognises that the presence of animals in our school can provide a
valuable learning experience but animals cannot be allowed to endanger student safety or
disrupt learning, neither should the animals be allowed to come to harm as a result of the
action or inaction of those attending the school. For that reason there should be a clear
educational purpose for an animal visiting the school.
Stray Animals
If a stray animal is observed on site and the animal is recognisable to us, staff will immediately
inform the owner. If not, the RSPCA will be called or the local authority stray animal warden.
Injured animals found on the school site can be cared for by private groups or local and
referred to the local RSPCA group.
Visitors’ animals
Animals are not allowed onto the school grounds without prior permission from the
Headteacher. Visitors bringing animals onto the school site without permission will be asked
to leave and remain outside of the school gates.
2. Animals intentionally brought on to School Property for a known reason.
The school recognises that a visiting animal offers the potential for a very positive experience
for children to learn about taking care and showing responsibility for animals, as well as
developing an understanding of the importance of the humane treatment of living creatures.
We believe that the benefits of learning about animals and their habitats can be equally
obtained from developing our environmental area and allowing children to observe them
there. We can also use other alternatives such as DVD’s, soft toys, information books, trips
and visits/visitors. The underlined examples should always be the preferred option unless
there are clear educational reasons for choosing another path.
For the purposes of this policy Visitors also includes all parents
Animals includes any living thing classified in the Kingdom Animalia
Policy for Animals in School
Summer 2015
Page 2 of 4
Animals brought to school for visits of a day or less:
Before bringing an animal onto the school premises during school hours, staff and children
must seek prior authorisation. Staff will obtain authorisation from the Headteacher.
The RSPCA is opposed to events and fundraisers at schools involving animals as their welfare
cannot be guaranteed at all times. These include donkey derbys, pig, sheep and snail racing,
birds of prey displays, pet shows and events where animals are used as prizes.
It is illegal to offer an animal as a prize to a person under 16 who is not accompanied by an
adult, except in limited circumstances provided in the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The care and humane treatment of animals:
The welfare of animals brought into school is paramount and consideration must be given to
access to water, food, rest periods, handling and feelings of being threatened. Everybody
bringing an animal or animals into school should provide written instructions on behaviour
around the animal and the reason why the animals are coming to the school.
Enclosures must be appropriate to the animal and it is the responsibility of the staff member
to ensure that the animal has sufficient food, water and a comfortable environment to reduce
the stress for the animal. Habitats must be maintained and cleaned by the responsible adult
or staff, but not students.
It is the school’s policy to notify children’s parents when an animal is being introduced into
the classroom. The school is particularly keen to support the introduction of service animals
such as hearing dogs or seeing dogs and this reflects the school’s ethos of celebrating diversity
and promoting inclusion.
Arrangements for animal visits should be made at least 48 hours in advance to ensure that
parents are appropriately notified. A letter must be sent to parents explaining about the
animal visit and asking families to advise the school of any allergies, or fears the children may
have.
Staff or children must ensure that the animals are in good health and have had all the
necessary immunisations or vaccinations. Evidence should be provided.
Any animal brought to school must remain under control of the responsible adult at all times.
The animal should be restrained on a leash or in a suitable carrier.
This applies to days when school is in session, prior to the start of school and for any time
after the school day, whenever the animal is on the school premises.
No wild animals or protected animals will be purposely brought to the building or onto school
grounds by anyone other than an authorized or licensed animal handler.
For the purposes of this policy Visitors also includes all parents
Animals includes any living thing classified in the Kingdom Animalia
Policy for Animals in School
Summer 2015
Page 3 of 4
There will be no physical contact between the animal and students unless it is an integral part
of the learning with prior approval received from the Headteacher.
Should any student or adult be scratched or bitten by an animal at school, first aid must be
administered immediately and in the case of a child, parents will be called. A copy of the
incident report (signed by the Headteacher) will be sent to the involved family and the policy
for animals in school will need to be reviewed accordingly.
3. Animals kept at School as classroom pets.
In line with RSPCA guidance the school does not support the keeping of pets on the school site.
There should be no exceptions to this rule.
4. Wild animals found on school property
Where wild animals are seen in the school grounds it should be explained that this is where
they have chosen to live and we should at all times respect them and their homes. (This does
not apply to animals such as rats which are usually classified as vermin. Arrangements should
be made for their humane destruction and removal.)
-----Children with medical concerns:
Health issues must be considered when assessing the appropriateness of animals in the
classroom. Prior to the consideration of the introduction of an animal to the classroom, the
teacher should review the medical notes of the children in their class to ensure there is no
conflict.
It is the policy of the school to consider the safety, health and well-being of every child and
member of staff when making decisions regarding the introduction of animals to the
classroom. When there is a conflict in this area, the Headteacher will confer with the staff
member to find an agreeable solution to the matter in consultation with others, e.g. the
parents and child, school staff and others as appropriate. If children have petted an animal it
is essential that they wash their hands after the activity and that this is supervised to ensure
that it is thorough.
Responsibility:
The owner or handler of any animal, including a service animal, is responsible for the animal
at all times and must take responsibility in the event of any harm accidentally or otherwise
that befalls a child.
The individual is also totally responsible for the welfare of the animal and the education of the
children in the proper handling and welfare of animal at all times. Petting should not be
encouraged dogs and cats prefer to be stroked in one direction and this should be explained to
children. It can be demonstrated using Soft Toys. Birds prefer not to be stroked at all as it can
damage their feathers and at the very least disturb the complex structure of the feathers.
For the purposes of this policy Visitors also includes all parents
Animals includes any living thing classified in the Kingdom Animalia
Policy for Animals in School
Summer 2015
Page 4 of 4
All staff must complete a risk assessment form prior to the introduction of an animal in the
classroom which must be signed off by the Headteacher.
Appendix - Animals and the law
There are a number of Laws Governing Animals and their treatment, this is a selection:
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The Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925
The Pet Animals Act 1951 (amended 1983)
Cock fighting Act 1952
Abandonment of Animals Act 1960
The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
The Zoo Licensing Act 1981
The Breeding of Dogs Act 199I
The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 and the Farriers (Registration) (Amendment) Act 1977
Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act 1988
Animal Welfare Act 2007
This last Act is quite Draconian:The Act introduced tougher penalties for neglect and cruelty, including fines of up to £20,000, a maximum
jail term of 51 weeks and a lifetime ban on some owners keeping pets. Enforcers such as the RSPCA have
more powers to intervene if they suspect a pet is being neglected.
It also introduced a welfare offence for the first time. This places a 'duty of care' on pet owners to provide
for their animals' basic needs, such as adequate food and water, veterinary treatment and an appropriate
environment in which to live. Previously the 'duty of care' had only existed for farm animals.
The Act also raised from 12 to 16 the minimum age for buying a pet, or winning one as a prize, without
parental accompaniment.
For the purposes of this policy Visitors also includes all parents
Animals includes any living thing classified in the Kingdom Animalia
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