A school dedicated to preparing people to play Santa Claus has been honoured with a Guinness World Record.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus

The Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in the US state of Michigan has been running continuously since 1937 and has now been recognised in the record books.

The school covers topics including how to dress as Father Christmas, how to sing and dance to festive music and how to ride a sleigh.

Charles W. Howard founded the facility after playing Santa at various department stores.

The school's current dean Tom Valent told Guinness: "Charlie believed to portray the image of Santa is a privilege, not a job. He built the school so that there will be better Santas for the kids and families. Santa stands for love and giving, that's what the spirit of Christmas is.

"We teach the heart of Santa, and that's what stands us apart from all the other schools that have started after the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School."