SCOTLAND will become the first country in the world to deliver nationwide, an internationally-acclaimed anti-bullying programme which involves parents and babies visiting schools.

Roots of Empathy, which help pupils understand their own feelings and the feelings of others, will be rolled out after investment of £1.2 million from the Scottish Government.

The programme, which is delivered by the Action for Children charity, aims to create more respectful relationships and reduce problem behaviour such as fighting in the classroom.

New, independent research into Roots of Empathy, which was carried out by North Lanarkshire Council's psychological services, found that pupils who receive the programme display greater levels of empathy and an increase in positive social behaviour.

Paul Carberry, director of service development at Action for Children Scotland, said: "We are very grateful to the Scottish Government for its continued support, allowing us to take our Tiny Teachers to classrooms across the country. It speaks volumes about the administration's commitment to Early Years."