A TEAM member like no other has joined the community at Bullimbal School.
Inka is a two-year-old chocolate Labrador, and she's one of only a couple of trained Educational Support dogs in the Tamworth area.
Principal Brett Pearson said the pooch had already transformed the way staff delivered education programs to their pupils.
From helping the kids with their reading, art and games to simply being there for a pat and a cuddle on a hard day, Inka can do it all.
"The students here have really complex support and learning needs and Inka is another tool to deliver education in a different way to students, and to actively engage them in their learning," Mr Pearson said.
"The kids, every day, that's their focus - they want to say hello, have a game with her, have a chat, shake her paw, all of those things.
"She's certainly changed their outlook."
Inka was trained by Assistance Dogs Australia (ADA), an organisation which trains puppies and transforms them into support dogs for a range of clients across the country, free of charge.
A dog like Inka costs ADA about $40,000 and takes two years to train.
Inka was handpicked as a pup for her home at Bullimbal, and ADA trained her for the school's specific needs. She has a range of responsibilities throughout the school day, like helping students into the school from buses or cars, and helping in the classroom or out on the playground.
Assistant principal Emma Kirby said Inka's abilities are astounding.
"With the kids who are reluctant to touch certain surfaces or certain textures, you can get Inka involved in a painting activity, or you can get her involved in a switch activity where she's activating lights and sounds in the classroom," she said.
"We appear to have 50 budding dog trainers here, who are more than happy to co-handle with you."
The playful pooch is still just a young one, and Ms Kirby said she's got a fantastic personality.
"When the jacket is off and she is just Inka the chocolate Labrador, she certainly has a very bright and bubbly personality that she's very happy to express," she said.
A lengthy application and approval process to get Inka kicked off two years ago, and right when there was a dog on the horizon, COVID-19 struck.
Ms Kirby said herself and Mr Pearson had their training days delayed due to the pandemic, but their new furry friend finally found her way to Bullimbal.
Mr Pearson said he's eternally grateful for ADA's work and for Tamworth Veterinary Hospital's sponsorship, taking care of Inka.