HE IS the “warm and loving” therapist “adored by all” at a Southampton primary school, according to the latest Ofsted report.

But he’s not your usual two-legged counsellor - Fudge is Springwell School’s 18-month-old Australian labradoodle.

Having joined the school when he was just 12 weeks old, he spends his days at the school playing games like ‘hide the treat’ with pupils, lending a non-judgemental ear to unconfident readers and calming anxious pupils with his friendly, tail-wagging demeanour.

“I love Fudge because he’s lovely and soft,” said Rozanna Sinn, aged 10.

“I like his curly poodle hair and reading Marvel comics with him,” added Kade Woodley, also 10.

IT manager Darren Nash, who sits on the school’s senior leadership team, takes care of Fudge at his family home and brings him into school every day.

“We chose the breed because they are good-natured and intelligent,” said Darren.

“He has an amazing effect on the kids.

“Recently, a boy bumped his head and was quite distraught, but as soon as Fudge came along he quickly cheered up,” he added.

The special needs primary school achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating for the third consecutive time, in part thanks to provisions tailor-made for the children’s needs, like the hydrotherapy pool and sensory rooms.

Fudge has inspired the kids to write about him, and has also taught them basic dog care.

“We show the children how to use ‘kind hands’ when stroking Fudge, and we talk about what dogs need,” said assistant head teacher Kate Buckingham.

Staff can check his diary and book him for classroom visits, and also take him out for regular walks.

“They find it relaxes them, as the school can be a challenging environment,” added Kate.

The school works closely with dog behaviourist Natalie Light, who teaches Fudge good habits like settling down when he goes into classrooms.

The Ofsted report also praised the school’s management of the major expansion project, aimed at providing up to 24 classes in total by 2021.

It added that parents are “delighted” with the school for creating a “happy and nurturing environment” for their children.