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Should children give gifts to teachers?

09:33 UK time, Friday, 26 March 2010

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.
The giving of presents to teachers is becoming increasingly commercialised and competitive, a teachers' union warns. Do you agree?

In a survey of 1,000 of its members, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) ATL found 93% had received gifts. The most popular present was chocolate (85% of gifts), but other gifts included opera tickets, champagne, a Tiffany bracelet and tickets for the Test match.

Primary school teacher Chris Clarke said: "Although I am very grateful that pupils and their parents appreciate what I do for them, I do feel that in our school there is a culture of present-giving that can become almost unhealthy."

Should parents be buying gifts for their children's teachers? Is the culture of gift giving becoming too competitive? Should schools have a policy on gift giving? Are you a teacher? What kind of gifts have you received? If you are a parent what kind of presents have you bought for your child's teacher?


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  • Comment number 1.

    I bought the Head a yacht, Sophia is now A-streaming. Natural balance, natural law.

  • Comment number 2.

    Ridiculous, there should be no such thing. Ban it like everything else.

  • Comment number 3.

    Most teachers would find this embarrassing. And to be honest I find the idea of children (or more accurately their parents) giving teachers gifts slightly creepy.

    I think it is another sign of modern Britain's emotional incontinence.

  • Comment number 4.

    I've been a teacher since 2001, and the nearest I've got to a gift from a student is one saying "It's been nice having you this year, Miss."

    When I was at school we had a tradition: each class had a whip-round for their form teacher to purchase an end-of-term present. The present was invariably a box of chocolates or other sweets, and woe betide the teacher who did not then pass it round the class!

  • Comment number 5.

    I think it's absolutely ridiculous the amount of money parents seem to be spending on buying presents for teachers. In most companies and organizations you're not allowed to accept personal gifts from clients/customers so why should a teacher be any different? They're only doing their job.

  • Comment number 6.

    Dear Pupils. I would like an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, please.

  • Comment number 7.

    These days, everything is done to excess and it seems that even giving a gift to the teacher has not escaped from this.

    What hope do these children have if their parents are behaving like this? This will result in yet another 'ban' being put in place where children are no longer allowed to give their teachers gifts or the teachers are not allowed to accept any.

    It's all very pathetic.

  • Comment number 8.

    Another brainless idea coming from across the pond, no doubt

  • Comment number 9.

    Teachers get paid to do a job; why should they have gifts as well?

    It's a ridiculous fad that seems to have come over here from America; just like a lot of other ridiculous fads.

  • Comment number 10.

    A box of chocolates would be my limit but if people are inclined to give more then i dont see the harm. If its only showing gratitude for the teacher and doesnt have a "favoritism" slant to it.

  • Comment number 11.

    After 25 years of teaching, the gifts I still have are the wonderfully intricate cards and drawings various children made for me, and they are on my walls. The chocs, flowers, bath oils etc are all gone, but these
    personal creations are the the ones that last. No teacher needs a bought gift.

  • Comment number 12.

    they could always say "thank you, but i feel i can't accept your kind gift "

  • Comment number 13.

    In nearly all businesses, and especially the public sector, there are strict rules about accepting gifts. When I worked in the public sector, and had to visit people at home, the rule was "one cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit or modest slice of cake". Why don't schools have published policies on these things - either banning them, or limiting them to good worth no more than (say) £10 per pupil per year?

    Also, I presume all teachers declare these gifts to the taxman as benefits in kind.

  • Comment number 14.

    The children should be allowed to give simple gifts preferably ones they made themselves.

    If the gift is expensive then it obviously came from the parent and in my opinion can be classed as a bribe for preferential treatment of their child. These sort of gifts should not only be banned but the parents should receive a written warning concerning their inappropriate behavior and continued such behavior should be investigated by the police to see if they are trying to unduly influence the teacher and school.

  • Comment number 15.

    If I wasn't lucky enough to receive the Aston Martin V8 Vantage as a gift, I'd sooner have them behave themselves every day, in school.

  • Comment number 16.

    My husband is a teacher and gets very embarrassed if given a gift by his students. It is usually those who cannot afford it that give him something personal, one student when leaving school gave him his own favourite book as a thank you. The biggest present he ever gets is when his students do better than expected.

  • Comment number 17.

    Do the parent thik if they give, the child will get better grades. if this is the case then surely the teachers and the parents are breaking the law.
    Have we not just been through the same thing with the goverment?.
    Where is the morals all these people keep talking about.
    If this is what we teach in school i can now see where politicians get theirs from and understand them better now.

    America here we come...Buy a new school wing and become a profeser!.
    Buy a new school and prez baby is on offer.

  • Comment number 18.

    "If your child isn't bright you try bribery."

    That is a more realistic headline for this BBC.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Methinks this smells of Americanisation.
    All and any presents given to any teachers should be handed to charities.
    If it is chocolate etc, have a raffle and give the money raised to a charity.
    Receiving presents could possibly put the teachers in an awkward position.

    Or the head teacher could simply write to the parents/guardians saying it is not their policy to accept presents.

  • Comment number 21.

    My son is only 6, and so far has just given a Thank You card. He will continue to do so. I was appalled at the gift bags containing wine, chocolates etc brought in by parents at the end of last years term. A simple card, handwritten by the child, perhaps homemade, means so much more than any tacky or expensive gifts!

  • Comment number 22.

    Why are so many people against this?

    If a child wantds to purchase a present or make a card, what is the problem? my kids get their teachers a present, only £1-£2, but its a nice gesture. Its only the parents who try to get one over on the jones' as they say.

  • Comment number 23.

    Someone gave a teacher a Tiffany bracelet? Really? Now that is ridiculous, this is all going way too far.

    Maybe the dad fancied the teacher.

  • Comment number 24.

    In my work (housing association and local authority) we had VERY strict rules on probity (mps take note!). I believe the same rules should apply to all public servants and when my children were at school I refused to be drawn in to the presents for teachers game. It is just another forum for people to try do outdo each other, like party bags, mobile 'phones, trainers etc.
    When I was at school teachers neither expected nor received gifts. They did the job they were paid to do like everyone else. (Except bankers and mps). A verbal 'thank you' and a happy smile from pupils at the end of term should be sufficient reward.

  • Comment number 25.

    I couldnt believe it when I first heard of this.
    When I was young, comics like the Beano mentioned giving a apple to teacher.
    Now in the shops, I see all these tacky mugs, photo frames etc ...
    Its not healthy.
    I also see to much of this tat in charity shops as I am sure teachers would not like their family and friends to see it as they may think they are paedos...
    Who came up with this stupid idea? The US I guess?

  • Comment number 26.

    I'm now retired but I must admit, the best gift I ever had in twenty five years of teaching was a plain and simple thank you. That meant more to me than anything else.

  • Comment number 27.

    Recognition and respect from the pupils I teach are the gifts that matter most to me.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    When I was in the 6th Form (back in 1979) we had a great English Teacher who could read Chaucer in 'Old English' called Mrs Batterbee. She was truly entertaining and when she announced her retirement, we bought her a quality pen as a 'thank you'. She was delighted and tearful when we presented it to her.

    Her reciprocation on our last lesson - she brought strawberries and cream and all the crockery and cutlery required for a dozen students in a large bag. As you can expect - not much work was done that lesson but I can still recall that day 30 years later.

    I am now 47 but look back on my school time with fondness.
    I also had a good art teacher, Mr Benson who mentored me and pushed me.
    He was actually more of a father than the one I actually had.

    So many teachers then were 'real teachers' and I think small gifts like this show them that their efforts are appreciated, so on the whole yes, but not sure if in politically correct Britain this is now allowed!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Teachers prefer a classy home made gift!

    It's a genuine gift, but they can put it in the bin if they want to!

  • Comment number 31.

    In the list of particuarly lavish gifts in the article on gift giving, a brace of pheasents was included. It is possible to buy a brace of pheasents for £1, or £2 plucked and gutted.

  • Comment number 32.

    I think teachers should have a contractual "no acceptance of gifts" condition. A letter or card of thanks/appreciation should suffice. If a child or parent wants to show greater appreciation then a small (limited) donation could be made to the school funds. Everybody is then satisfied and the "keeping up with the Jones'" scenario is then avoided. Any attempts to have a teacher look more "favourably" on a particular child, or children, is also avoided.

  • Comment number 33.

    Teachers are paid to do a job - much like Doctors, Dentists, and ME (well everyone who is paid to do a job). I wouldn't buy my GP a present (for any reason) and certainly not my dentist - so why on earth should I buy a teacher a present?

    This fad must be forced out of existence with strong policies. In most companies/organisations the receiving of gifts is forbidden.

    BEsides which can anyone tell me what it is that a teacher does that merits the teacher getting any form of reward above their not inconsiderable salary???

  • Comment number 34.

    Health and safety stopped us giving an apple to teacher. Might choke on the pips. Then again I left school in 1980.....

  • Comment number 35.

    The best present I was ever given by a pupil came from a girl who had left school the year before. She crossed the street to thank me for the help I had given her while at school. After forty years, names and faces tend to fade, but I do remember that one. Now that's the gift that any teacher should be delighted to receive. As always, brickbats are easier to throw than bouquets, but when a bouquet is thrown, it's treasured all the more.

  • Comment number 36.

    My wife used to work as a teacher in Ukraine. On the first day of School (1 Sep each year), the children would get dressed up in their finest clothing and take in a flower to their teacher as a present for the year to come. As I understand it anything more than this was frowned upon as it implied that the child was looking to be favoured. So while I think that the giving of presents to a teacher is a reasonable thing I would caution teachers to discourage competition.

  • Comment number 37.

    One of the best, yet saddest, gifts was a student who made a right pig's ear of a computing practical exam. She burst into tears and announced, "I've let you down, Miss."

    Fortunately I was able to organise a resit, coached her in the bit she'd found too hard (which she did know, she'd just panicked) and she passed with flying colours. Then the tears were ones of joy!

  • Comment number 38.

    Expensive gifts are not necessarily bribes from parents. My form had a collection for our form tutor of 4 years, and between us we collected enought to buy her a Tiffany Bracelet. As a class, we organised this ourselves, without the input of our parents. Surely this was an acceptable way of thanking a teacher.

  • Comment number 39.

    It's a gift! The teacher doesn't command presents at the end of the year. It's nice to be nice. It's teaching kids some of the social skills they'll need to get on in life - like being polite, civil, mannerly and respectful.

    I agree that a Mulberry Handbag is totally over the top. I'd be suspicious of any parent that handed over £500 to their kid to buy a teacher a designer handbag.

    Stop making mountains out of mole hills, and don't be so miserable. Encourage our kids to create a better society through kindness and appreciation instead of trodding on thier goodwill gestures.

  • Comment number 40.

    ''Teachers get paid to do a job; why should they have gifts as well?''

    I suppose, then, that you are the sort of person who never tips waitresses or hairdressers, and always refuses a Christmas bonus from your boss...

  • Comment number 41.

    The best presents I ever got was a hand penned poem and a necklace made from a sea shell, I still have them 10 years later. But getting over 20 bottle of bubble bath was a bit excessive and most I gave away.

  • Comment number 42.

    I find it insulting to children and their parents to tar them all with the same brush of giving in order to receive.
    Most cards and presents are given at the end of the summer term (and mainly to primary school teachers) - just when the child moves on to a new teacher.
    I was a state school teacher for 10 years so speak from experience, not speculation.

  • Comment number 43.

    The only job I have ever had where I received a gift to me personaly was when I worked as a purchasing manager for an engineering company in the mid 1980's. I only did the job for a year, and received over £50 worth of wine/spirits at xmas.

    It was obvious that the gifts, all from suppliers (suprise!) and was to foster good will and repeat orders.

    Why would any parent give a gift to a teacher? I can understand if the pupil makes/buys a gift, they are usually modest. But for parents to give substantial gifts (a Tiffany bracelet?) that is definitly creepy.

  • Comment number 44.

    No. We don't give teachers gifts. A card at the end of the school year and at Christmas, but no gifts. It would cost me a fortune, and I am aware it could be seen as bribery which is something I really don't want to be seen to do. My kids have lovely wonderful teachers, and I think that they feel like they are doing a good job if my kids go home happy and have learnt something. It makes it all worth while for them and for us.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    We didn't know this actually went on?

  • Comment number 47.

    "24. At 10:47am on 26 Mar 2010, Virtualvalkyrie wrote:
    In my work (housing association and local authority) we had VERY strict rules on probity (mps take note!)."

    I agree. The company I work for have the same strict policies regarding gifts and hospitality because if our staff are seen to accept expensive gifts it could leave them open to accusations of accepting bribery.

    I think with regard to teachers, small inexpensive tokens such as a box of chocolates are fine but anything larger is just ridiculous, over the top and smacks of the parents hoping that it'll influence their little darling's grades somehow. If I was a teacher I would feel really awkward if I was presented with something like a tiffany bracelet

  • Comment number 48.

    6. At 10:10am on 26 Mar 2010, Dr Malcolm Williams wrote:
    Dear Pupils. I would like an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, please.

    Don't be ridiculous Dr. Williams. It has to be a Bentley at least. Or possibly a few litres of petrol, but that may be going too far! No, on balance, I'd settle for 'Thanks, sir. You really helped.'

  • Comment number 49.

    And the big deal here is??

    As long as it is not inappropriate or used to gain favour then what is the problem?

    We really need to get a grip on reality.

  • Comment number 50.

    Once gift giving becomes 'obligatory' it becomes meaningless, like christmas.

  • Comment number 51.

    I'm assuming that most of the contributors to this HYS are not teachers, otherwise they would be in their classrooms, not writing on this particular board.

    There seems to be a bit of an overreaction here. Most teachers only receive "small" gifts like chocolate & flowers & they are not offered as a bribe but as a token of appreciation. True, sometimes the gift is from a parent - usually a grateful parent who is acknowledging that the teacher has worked hard with their child that year, even perhaps turning their child around academically or helping to iron out bad behaviour.

    I don't know of any teachers who have ever been offered a costly gift & I'm sure that if they were offered, they would turn it down as it could be easily misconstrued.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think it's a brilliant idea. I am a fundraiser for a local charity and our stalls at village fetes and the like would much the poorer if they weren't stocked with the unwanted gifts donated to us by teachers. Thanks, parents, for supporting (unwittingly) good causes.

  • Comment number 53.

    Come on is this really a news story??

    Some people give presents to teachers...some don't. Teachers don't ask for presents and most are probably embarrassed to receive them especially if they are as lavish as this news story is making out. Teachers do a bloody hard job and although not all of them are brilliant at what they do I wouldn't grudge them a box of chocolates evey year!!

    This isn't news, i wish the BBC would stop trying to encite a scandal out of everyday life. come on people there are far worse things going on in the world than teachers getting chocolates!!

  • Comment number 54.

    There was a time when getting a gift from a child and its parent was seen for what was. It was a way of expressing gratitude for making a real difference for that child. When I was a full time teacher I used to get 4 or 5 presents each year. I always knew what had prompted the gift. Even now teachers only get a few gifts, sometimes at Christmas.

    I have never seen it as a problem, the odd bottle of wine or socks or some smellies, because it always seemed a genuine expression of thanks.

    I was astonished to see such sentiment being attacked this way perhaps because I was not aware that it was seen as a problem. It is not something schools should have a rule or policy about, neither should someone from outside stick their oar in. Let it run, see how it develops. These things have a way of balancing themselves out.

    Besides there are much more important things going on in the world than this issue.

  • Comment number 55.

    I opted out of the culture of buying increasingly expensive presents for teachers a while ago. I now encourage my children to bake cakes for their teachers as a little thank you. I hope that the teachers appreciate their efforts more than me trawling around shops to find the ultimate gift that no-body else may have already thought of.

  • Comment number 56.

    My wife is a teacher and is always very grateful for the gifts that she receives at the end of term. Usually the gifts have a value ceiling of about £6 but occassionally the value is higher. The wine and chocolate are consumed quite quickly. The candles are either retained/used or given to charity shops - as is any other stuff that will not be used.
    She does not ever - and I need to stress this - think that certain parents could afford more. Often the poorest parents provide the most lavish gift, but she is grateful for anything and expects nothing.

  • Comment number 57.

    The best gift that any child can give the conscientious teacher is to work hard at school and give of their best, the best gift that any conscientious teacher can give any child is to work hard at school and give of their best. Excluding retirements perhaps, anything more than a piece of fruit or a bunch of flowers should be regarded as bribery and fully taxable.

  • Comment number 58.

    On my childs last day of nursery all the parents got together and gave a donation instead of a gift. All the cash was used to buy gardening vouchers to go towards the upgrade of the nursery garden. The teachers were delighted with this instead of chocolate or another "worlds best teacher" mug.
    My children now get their teachers "virtual" gifts for Xmas. Last year we bought 5 school books for a child in Sierra Leone. Something like this and a nice handmade card I think is ok. It can just get so out of control.

  • Comment number 59.

    I remeber giving my teachers a hand made card, nothing wrong with that. I also don't see the harm in abox of chocolates at the end of term, nothing big just a nice guesture. I gave my personal tutor a bottle of wine when I graduated as well, I felt I shouldgive him something in return for all the support he gave me over the 3 years.

    However a tiffany bracelet! that is just plain daft, and should never have been accepted. If kids want to thank their teachers it should be limited to something like a box of chocolates or a nice hand made gift or picture. As for parents they should keep their "jones" attitude out of the classrooms.

  • Comment number 60.

    How nauseating. I do feel that in some of these cases where this gifts to some teachers are becoming more extravegatant, these gifts are not necessarily being given as a gesture towards the teachers performance but its more like parents trying in some twisted way to show off.

    This really is absolutely dreadful.

  • Comment number 61.

    I was going to say something at length about this but Pause for Thought(3) said it all. On that note shouldn't we have the facility to commend a contribution as well as complain about one?

  • Comment number 62.

    Sounds like bribery to me.

    Can't see our MPs doing anything about it.

  • Comment number 63.

    when i was a teacher i was pleased when the children were doing well. i was paid for doing my job. if i received a small present i was touched by the kindnes. however, if i was part of a competitive spirit i would have been most embarrassed. many companies like my husbands forbid the giving of gifts and it could lead to dismissal. maybe the NUT. should look into it.

  • Comment number 64.

    I see the 'ban it' brigade are here again!

    This does not need any 'banning'. Common sense should prevail.

    It is a nice gesture for a child to be able to give their teacher a small gift - clearly from the child, not the parents. But gifts of any significant value should be turned down by the teacher.

  • Comment number 65.

    present giving is just a way of parents and the pupil sucking up to the teacher.

  • Comment number 66.

    I don't think a brace of pheasants is exactly lavish. Proably worth not much more than an apple for teacher!

    On a more serious note, this seems to be a particular issues in private prep schools. Here, the school one's child attenda is as much a "logo" to collect as the Range Rover or other 4x4, Hunters etc. As such, the "present" is not designed to impress the teacher or school but competing parents in the same social set.

  • Comment number 67.

    Presumably the Chancellor will be taxing any gifts?

  • Comment number 68.

    I love the idea of a brace of pheasants being considered a 'lavish' present! Whoever wrote that must live in that fancy London town: pheasants are a couple of quid each! Oh, and by the way,the ATL may think that teachers are just as happy with hand made cards and presents but that is a load of sentimental old twaddle. Give me the Krug any day.

  • Comment number 69.

    Dont feel pressured into giving.
    Why do people feel they HAVE to give. The teachers were doing thier job. Some do it better than others but still they were doing thier job.
    Some may be more friendly than others, you may have spent a few years with them but they are still only doing thier job.
    If the class buy a collective present are they persuaded to contribute towards it. If they dont want to contribute what then? Are they then excluded from the class?
    " You didnt give to Miss Smiths present so you obviously dont like her do you" Peer pressure/bullying
    If a refuse collecter does the job well do you buy them a present? I doubt it.
    If your train driver gets you to work on time, will you go to the front of the train and just thank him? I doubt it.
    As far as I can see, the reason why some people feel they need to buy presents for thier teachers is because they have formed an emotional attachment with them.
    If it becomes common place to buy present for teachers then they might start to expect them. Would that be right????

  • Comment number 70.

    I can't help but be amused at the earnest teachers commenting on the how their 'best' gifts were the handmade ones etc. 2 of my closest friends are teachers and I've seen them pouring over their swag at the end of term looking for the posh gifts and mocking the terrible ones. One particularly lavish gift ended up selling on Ebay for a very tidy sum. Bet you won't find any of those teachers admitting to that on a public forum though. I'd also like to point out that teachers earn above average pay for Government employees, receive far more holiday and work shorter hours than many working in the private sector.

  • Comment number 71.

    Nothing wrong with a small bag/box of chocolates at Christmas, but end of year - no! Our son won;t be giving his teachers anything at the end of year.

  • Comment number 72.

    As a trainee teacher/ soon to be poorly paid Newly Qualified Teacher, I welcome any donations (preferably cash)that pupils and their parents wish to give me.

    With ever diminishing incentives to enter the teaching profession and encroaching restrictions on having a life; let us have the odd pressie please!

    NB: Cheques made payable to...

  • Comment number 73.

    I was a teacher for 5 years and never received a gift from any of my students! Yet I was considered a decent and fair teacher who improved grades of my pupils. I did however manage to receive complaints from some whiney parents that it was MY fault that their child got por grades. Oh Dear. Seriously, I did not expect gifts just some verbal appreciation instead.

  • Comment number 74.

    I gave a twix to a teacher once and got suspended. When i say "gave" i mean threw from across the playground. I didnt mean to hit him honest.

  • Comment number 75.

    heaven forbid - teachers are paid to do a job - end of story - or should we be paying a 12.5% service charge?

  • Comment number 76.

    My Primary school teacher had a great liking for cats, so when I left for Secondary school I thanked her with a little framed print of a cat. I got it from the pound shop though, being only 10 at the time...

    I see no harm in getting small thank you's for a teacher who's put in lots of hard work for you, but it should be kept small, yet thoughtful.

  • Comment number 77.

    .....besides, Tiffany bracelets and Mulberry handbags may be the currency of your Harrow and Eton parents, but I can't imagine the average secondary comp parent would go much further than a bottle of Prosecco. Surely no one has a problem with that kind of gesture?

  • Comment number 78.


  • Comment number 79.

    I don't see why the Teachers shouldn't be allowed to receive gifts, I personally think teaching as a profession is a very noble undertaking that isn't recognized enough.

  • Comment number 80.

    Should we bribe police officers? No. On the other hand sweets cards and flowers below a certain value are fine. This is standard in business that no gifts are acceptable above a certain value and it seems to work just fine. So it could easily and without any fuss or bother be made part of school policy without our Socialist leaders in parliament passing any new laws.

  • Comment number 81.

    I've been teaching for 15 years in the post-16 sector. Present-giving dies out once the children leave school and become students. I might have had half a dozen cards over the years and the occasional bottle of cheap plonk. The best gift of all for people in my profession is the sure knowledge that we've helped someone along their way.

  • Comment number 82.

    It is more blessed to give than to receive, so I hope the teachers are reciprocating as well!

  • Comment number 83.

    The only gift I ever gave, was being there for the class. although some might have preferred it if I wasn't :-0

  • Comment number 84.

    I was 6 years old in 1945, and another girl at school brought the teacher a jar of honey from her father's bees. which would have been welcome during the war food shortages, Not to be outdone I secretly took a jar of home made raspberry jam, hid it in my leather satchel and took it to school for the last day of term. Unfortunately it tipped up, spilling the contents all over the satchel. I took the jar and hid it in the shoe pigeon holes in the cloakroom. The teacher commented that 'everything felt sticky around me' but never found out. I had to confess at home, the satchel was cleaned but the red stain never came out.

  • Comment number 85.

    A brace of pheasants isn't particularly extravagant, its about £5 worth.

  • Comment number 86.

    Similar to the hideous "Hallmark Holidays" - a way for greetings tat companies to milk the guilt factor.

    How many teachers have cupboards full of stuffed toys, emblazoned "Best Teacher in the World". They can't all be the best.

  • Comment number 87.

    i have no problem with people wanting to give gifts to their children's teachers if that's what they want to do. however what does bug me is when another parent sends a note home in my kids book bag to say they are doing a collection for 1 big present from all the kids and says the recommended amount is £5....

    er pardon me? IF my kids wanted to buy a present for their teacher (which I don't agree with anyway) it would be from their own pocket money and upto an amount they wished to spend within reason.

    I don't like it when I'm made to feel guilty for not 'contributing' to a collection that I didn't agree to join in the first place!

  • Comment number 88.

    #69 Richard. I always used to make a point of thanking my train driver for not killing me in a rail crash until the Restraining Order was granted.

  • Comment number 89.

    A brace of pheasants is considered a costly gift?

    Round here, you can get a brace for less than a fiver or gratis if you know somebody with a shotgun!

  • Comment number 90.

    I've always resisted the (ever increasing) pressure for my children to give their teachers gifts for what is, after all, just doing their job. I'm seriously reconsidering for this summer though - my youngest daughter's teacher this year simply cannot spell. A nice, gift-wrapped Oxford English Dictionary, methinks....

    My aunt is a retired teacher who used to let us choose things from what she referred to as her 'crawler bag' - filled with gifts from pupils.

  • Comment number 91.

    Makes a change, I thought kids these days only gave their Teachers nervous breakdowns, black eyes or drugs.

  • Comment number 92.

    There's a lot of peer pressure to give presents to teachers. My daughter seems to consider it compulsory. If its a sgn of gratitiude, then it should be limited to a (home made) card. As for the comments from teachers on this forum about it being OK beacuse they're low paid???????????

  • Comment number 93.

    When I was 6 years old I was lucky to have a really lovely teacher called Mrs Perkins, I recall memories of her as being the sort of bubbly grandmother like teacher who was quite simply the best and taught me how to make the most amazing pumpkin pie, which I still make to this day (lucky my mum asked her for the recipe!). I vaguely remember giving her a large bunch of grapes and a home made card on my last day, before I moved away to Lincolnshire and a different school. I was quite surprised that I got a big cuddle and a kiss on the cheek in return!
    I am now 26 and a parent of two young children. I don't really mind buying a small £3 box of chocolates for them to give to their teachers at the end of the school year or at Christmas; however, I have to say that giving teachers gifts at the end of every term is expensive and completely ridiculous! But on the contrary, there is no harm in giving small token gifts to teachers or showing that they are appreciated but I do think some parents can get a bit too carried away with their money.

  • Comment number 94.

    I have NEVER bought into this commercialism.
    I don't get presents for doing my job.

  • Comment number 95.

    I don't think most presents are intended as a bribe - they are most often given at the end of the school year, and it's too late for a bribe then! And very few parents or children would be stupid enough to think they could get away with 'buying' better grades. Mostly they are genuine 'thank you's - but the problem is the culture of oneupmanship that leads to people spending stupid amounts of money. It gets embarrassing for the teachers, for children and for other parents when some families so conspicuously flaunt their wealth in this way.

  • Comment number 96.

    Comment 70. "I'd also like to point out that teachers earn above average pay for Government employees, receive far more holiday and work shorter hours than many working in the private sector. "

    You clearly haven't a clue. An ordinary class teacher at the end of their career gets just over £30,000. A typical working week for me is 65 hours, including unsocial evening and weekend working. Holidays, on paper, are longer than most, but are shortened by the need to be in school setting up class during the holiday and spending hours working at home.

    Any gifts I received are genuine thanks for making the difference for particular children.

  • Comment number 97.

    I don't think teachers should be allowed to accept gifts from pupils. I'm surprised they even ARE allowed to, in today's society. It leaves them far too open to being accused of one thing or another further down the line.

  • Comment number 98.

    I've never given or seen anyone give a present to the teacher ever.
    Probably some of the niché schools or something. If you gave your teacher a present in a typical school today you would get teased for at least five years, actually make that 10.

  • Comment number 99.

    #23. At 10:45am on 26 Mar 2010, Mark Smith wrote:
    “Someone gave a teacher a Tiffany bracelet? Really? Now that is ridiculous, this is all going way too far.

    Maybe the dad fancied the teacher.”

    More likely the pupil fancied the teacher. I can remember fancying a couple of my teachers when I was a youngster, never gave them Tiffany bracelets though.

  • Comment number 100.

    Oh dear,another thing I thought I was doing right turns out to be wrong. Thought a little gift to show appreciation was nice not something that could be misconstrued. I've helped my daughter buy gifts (chocolates, flowers or something more personalised for her teachers) Now I will not have a clue what to do at the end of the school year. You just can't win either way.


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