TEENAGERS are looking after cyber babies to help them learn how demanding the real thing can be.

Life like dolls are being given to 13 and 14 year olds at Greencroft Community School at Annfield Plain, near Stanley, for two nights this week.

They have microchips that cry when they need a feed or to have their nappy changed.

Assistant headteacher Helen Burton said: "They are quite realistic and the children will have to put a bottle in its mouth and change a nappy, maybe at three in the morning.

"The information in the chip is processed and their performance is assessed."

The unit forms part of a GCSE in health and social care and is aimed at around 18 children considering child care as a career.

Ms Burton added: "We do not have a problem with teenage pregnancies at Greencroft. This is a practical way to get hands on child care experience and give the students a good understanding of what is involved."