Labradoodle Maple paw-fect for Victoria Point State High School

SUPPORT: Maple will help out students and staff at Victoria Point State High School. Photo: Instagram @ladymaple.doodle

SUPPORT: Maple will help out students and staff at Victoria Point State High School. Photo: Instagram @ladymaple.doodle

A NEW canine staff member has joined the team at Victoria Point State High School.

Maple the labradoodle will be on hand from term four to provide emotional support to students and staff and help to alleviate stress and anxiety.

She will call in on classrooms, attend appointments and be available for students to visit.

Until she officially begins her role, Maple will be out and about in school grounds learning the ropes.

Victoria Point State High School's head of inclusive education Andrew Riordan said Maple could be of particular help to students with anxiety and those who were having trouble understanding the curriculum.

He said getting Maple for the school had been in the works for more than a year, with staff researching the responsibilities and benefits of support dogs in schools and how they could best be used to help students.

Maple will not be the first dog to play a support role for students in the Redlands.

An assistance dog provides learning support for students at Alexandra Hills' Sycamore School and Story Dogs have also been used in local schools to improve students' reading and literacy skills.

While she will be working hard to help staff and students, she will also be well taken care of, with a small dog park set to be constructed at the school for when Maple needs to spend some time alone.

Mr Riordan said labradoodles - which are a cross between a labrador and a poodle - were usually allergy-friendly and were known for their calm, friendly temperament.

Mr Riordon said it was important for staff and students to know Maple was not a novelty or a mascot.

"She's here to do a very specific job," he said.