Helen Ward

When something gets your goat, why not pet a goat?

How one secondary school is using the animals to manage pupil behaviour and boost engagement

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They may be less than 3ft tall, but the latest recruits at Varndean School, Brighton, are having a big impact on behaviour.

Maya, Bertie, Alan, Ethel and William are pygmy goats whose role has expanded beyond being mere school pets and grass-cutters.

The secondary has also decided to use “goat time” for students who are at risk of misbehaving in class – and has found that behaviour incidents have dropped dramatically since their arrival in September.

Hilary Goldsmith, who joined Varndean as director of finance a year ago, brought the goats in after noticing that an enclosed grassed courtyard ...

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