A PIONEERING project which saw babies become 'tiny teachers' in a bid to prevent bullying and aggression among school pupils has been hailed a huge success.

Babies visited classrooms to encourage children to interact in a nurturing manner as part of the groundbreaking Action for Children programme, entitled Roots of Empathy.

The pupils watched the little ones and their parents, observing the attentive, loving interaction. And organisers say the project has been successful in giving the schoolkids a better understanding of their own feelings and those of others.

The babies - known as 'tiny teachers' - visited Ardgowan, St Patrick's, St Michael's, St Francis, Lady Alice and St Joseph's primary schools.

At a special celebration held yesterday, the pupils came together at the McLean Museum to thank their cute visitors - Eilidh, Daniel, Joylin, Michael, Mirren and Louie - by writing hopes for their futures and hanging them on a special wish tree.

Mum Kerry McGeown visited Ardgowan Primary School with her baby daughter Eilidh as part of the programme, which first originated in Canada.

She said: "They are all so fond of Eilidh; it is wonderful to see how much they have enjoyed the programme and their wishes for Eilidh's future. It has been a very rewarding experience that I would strongly recommend to any new mums." Paul Carberry, operational director of children's services at Action for Children Scotland, told the Tele that the project had been successful in teaching the children to better understand emotions and he thanked all those took part.

Councillor Terry Loughran, education committee convener, added: "This has been a hugely successful project and one that I know everyone involved in has taken a great deal from.

"The focus on education in Inverclyde is very much on nurturing and Roots for Empathy has given these children the opportunity to learn first-hand what it takes to play an active and responsible role.

"I would like to thank the parents and babies for taking part and for making the project such a huge success."