STUDENTS
02/11/2011 07:54 GMT | Updated 02/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Scottish Schools To 'Employ' Babies As 'Tiny Teachers' To Reduce Bullying

Scotland are to "employ" babies as teachers as part of a programme to reduce bullying and aggression in schools.

The initiative, called Roots of Empathy, is pioneered by the Action for Children charity and will focus on reducing problem behaviour, including fighting and bullying.

Director of children's services at the charity Louise Warde-Hunter said the babies would be used as "tiny teachers".

"This raises levels of empathy amongst classmates, resulting in more respectful relationships and a dramatic reduction in levels of aggression among schoolchildren."

The programme aims to encourage children to interact in a "nurturing manner" by bringing a baby and its parents into school classrooms throughout the school year. According to the children's charity, observing the relationship between the parent and baby raises levels empathy among classmates and results in more "respectful relationships".

Angela Constance, Scottish minister for children and young people, said the initiative "fits well" with the Scottish Government's "vision for the early years".