Pupils at a Moray secondary school are involved in a pioneering project where community-minded volunteers keep watch over them during their breaks.
The Elgin School Pastors organisation has been created to keep an eye on youngsters from Elgin High School during their lunch hour.
It is believed their presence might help keep children out of trouble, and could cut down on bullying. The volunteers will also be around to offer a comforting ear should any pupils wish to confide in them.
The programme is an offshoot from the Elgin Street Pastors movement, and is only the second of its kind to be launched in Scotland.
The group of eight pastors were sworn in during a recent event in the town, as plans to increase patrols in the New Year take shape.
Group co-ordinator, Rosemary Young, explained the fledgling initiative has involved visits to the secondary school every second Friday over the past few months.
But, after the Christmas holidays, those efforts will be doubled and members will stage weekly trips.
Ms Young added: “We accompany the children down from the school grounds to local shops and around the community at lunch time.
“We just try to be a positive adult presence, offering another layer of support.
“It is early days yet, and we are just trying to let the pupils know what we are about.
“But we aren’t teachers, and we are non-judgmental, so we would welcome anybody that wanted to talk.”
Elgin High School headteacher, Hugh McCulloch, said: “The pastors have been welcomed by the school community as another branch of support which is available to our young people.
“They have braved all weathers to become known to the young people, and are steadily building up positive and caring relationships with them.”
The only other Scottish secondary which operates a school pastors scheme is St Machar Academy in Aberdeen.