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To wonder how much and how often you give presents to teachers?

(119 Posts)
Belladonna666 Fri 30-Nov-12 12:44:03

The school my child goes to have asked all parents to contribute £10 per child to the teachers communal presents. I don't mind doing this occasionally but they are going to ask for another contribution at the end of the summer of the same amount. This all adds up and we are forever being asked to contribute £ for this and that. I personally think it is more appropriate to give the teachers a present once a year at the end of the summer term. I hardly know my child's new teacher and feel that I would rather contribute at the end of the year.

The problem is that if I don't contribute it will be very obvious as it is a small school with a lot of well off parents for whom £10 is pocket money but we are on a small budget and it is a lot for us to be paying out £40 per year just for communal presents (for both my children when my youngest starts school).


Hulababy Mon 03-Dec-12 20:22:02

Starlight - when I taught if I had a TA working with me I got them a small gift. It was secondary so not the same as was not every lesson.
I know work as a primary school TA/HLTA and my class teachers so far have always bought be a gift to say thanks. Last year's teacher used to give me thank you cards with lovely notes in them too, throughout the year - mean a lot!
As a TA I always send a card to the children in my class and a small token gift at Christmas and end of year.

Sargesaweyes Mon 03-Dec-12 13:39:33

It is VERY hard to get a primary job. Especially a permanent one.

Sargesaweyes Mon 03-Dec-12 13:38:33

I buy a present for my TA, cleaners and helper. Not because I have to btw. I find the whole buying presents for the kids a bit much though that mean of me? I do it because that is what everyone else does in the school.

Saski Mon 03-Dec-12 13:33:19

Strange! Why do you think that is? Do all UK schools face this issue? I had no idea.

I was under the impression that it was quite hard to get a teaching job.

noblegiraffe Mon 03-Dec-12 13:19:35

I work in an outstanding state school with really good results, nice leafy middle class area. Last year we advertised and got 3 serious applicants, only one of whom was remotely employable even before you questioned commitment to after school activities. My HOD commented that at their previous school they advertised and got no applicants on occasion so 3 was a bonus. At another colleague's school they have to bring in teachers from abroad to fill vacancies.

Saski Mon 03-Dec-12 12:22:46

In the maths department we are lucky to get any applicants for a post!

Seriously? I'm surprised to hear that.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 03-Dec-12 10:21:09

Yes, private schools tend to state that 'a full commitment to the extra curricular life of the school is required', or something to that effect. I don't think state schools make the same statement.

noblegiraffe Mon 03-Dec-12 00:04:41

Thinking further, I think some private schools do require extra curricular activities as part of their individual contracts, but state school terms and conditions are agreed nationally, and extra curricular activities cannot form part of required duties.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 23:59:04

In the maths department we are lucky to get any applicants for a post!

I'm not sure that requiring extra-curricular stuff couldn't be argued to be discriminatory against those with childcare commitments, young families, caring responsibilities and so on. However, a candidate may well put on their form that they are keen to set up a science club or whatever. I don't think they could then be sacked if they didn't stump up the goods.

socharlotte Sun 02-Dec-12 23:52:42

Thanks Noble.I am a little surprised at that to be honest.Especially nowadatys when there are so many applicants chasing each job, if I was on the panel I would definitely be wanting to know how much extra-curricular stuff they were willing to do.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 23:46:36

Perhaps a PE teacher might be expected to run an after school club as part of their duties and have that raised at interview.

I'm a maths teacher. I've done revision sessions, residential trips, helped at proms and discos etc and not once has it been suggested that I need to do this as part of my job. I could have turned down any of them, because they have been in my own free time, unpaid.

socharlotte Sun 02-Dec-12 23:38:23

'After school clubs, revision sessions, residential trips, sports fixtures, competitions, concerts, plays, proms and discos are all staffed voluntarily'

so when they are being interviewed for the job,is it niot made clear that this is part and parcel of the job?

ohmeohmy Sun 02-Dec-12 19:33:54

I overheard mothers from a posh school discussing how they were contributing to a Mulberry bag for the teacher last summer. Whole different world.

lovebunny Sun 02-Dec-12 19:16:06

don't give presents to teachers!
if you think they're doing well, write to them saying so. if your child wants to say thank you, or wish them happy christmas, let them write a letter or card.
these are important for the message behind them but we can also use them as evidence in our favour if anyone tries to say we're no good...

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 18:59:22

everyone seems to fawn over teachers at Christmas

Not at secondary they don't! And we work many hours above and beyond our contracted hours (1265) before you even start on the stuff that requires volunteers. Residential trips and so on rely very much on goodwill. It's a shame that a lot of parents who seem to go overboard at primary completely forget even a basic thank you as their kids get older.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Dec-12 18:37:34

I wonder how many teachers get their classroom assistants presents?

Ragwort Sun 02-Dec-12 18:30:20

Yes noble I am sure teachers do give up time to help with after school clubs/trips etc but teaching is a salaried profession and surely no teacher should really expect to just work 'set hours' hmm - I was in a salaried position for years and worked many, many hours above the set 9-5 (including weekends) or whatever it was in those days. I don't think thanks should only be reserved for volunteers but it is a sad fact that very few volunteers do get any form of thanks or appreciation yet everyone seems to fawn over teachers at Christmas.

Can anyone answer crashdoll's question, I am genuinely interested (not being sarky grin).

freddiefrog Sun 02-Dec-12 09:06:11

We buy little gifts for Christmas and at the end of the year for the class teacher and TA. DD2 has bought something for the lady who comes in to do sewing/knitting club (the woman has the patience of a saint)

There's an old fashioned sweet shop in town and the kids usually want to buy them a little jar each

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Dec-12 08:59:28

Not that I am remotely trying to justify the ridiculous strong-arming of present buying that seems to be going on at primary (I'm secondary and am lucky to get a 'Merry Christmas' as the kids help themselves to the tins of Celebrations I buy!) just to say teachers do not always get paid for what they do.
After school clubs, revision sessions, residential trips, sports fixtures, competitions, concerts, plays, proms and discos are all staffed voluntarily. A thank you would be nice if your child benefits! Someone upthread said that thanks should be reserved for Scout and Guide leaders and so on who give up their time unpaid, but teachers do a lot of this too.

socharlotte Sun 02-Dec-12 00:13:49

I don't give them anything- I was under the impression they are paid for what they do!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 01-Dec-12 19:46:36

or don't give anything and just make a nice cake with a home made card. To be left in the staff room. I have done this every year for 6 years and the staff are always very thankful as they are on their knees by the end of the year.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 01-Dec-12 19:43:33

Suggest to the PTA that people give what they can afford only rather then 10 pounds per teacher.

In fact you could just put 5 in an envelope and say that this is your contribution.

crashdoll Sat 01-Dec-12 18:52:53


crashdoll Sat 01-Dec-12 18:52:35

Genuine question - why are teachers allowed to accept gifts but in other professionals, it is forbidden?

aamia Sat 01-Dec-12 18:07:50

When not on maternity leave I'm a teacher. The nicest presents are useful and thoughtful - for me, a lovely keyring stands out, pens are always handy, mugs. Endless boxes of chocolate are overwhelming. The best present I ever had was all about the thought. It was from a Y6 boy whose family weren't well off at all and he ate his free school dinners like a hoover. He was a fab member of the class who loved school - his ambition was to go to college! He was late to school on the last day of the term, then came rushing in, all excited, present in hand. A small box of maltesers that he had obviously got with his own limited pocket money, still in the brown paper bag from the corner shop. They were a present from HIM, that he wanted to give. That was my favourite present that year.

And I've always bought my class xmas presents too.

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