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not to contribute to teacher's Christmas collection?

(69 Posts)
Soapysuds64 Mon 01-Sep-14 16:12:12

Been back at school 3 weeks now, and class rep has sent around an email (in 'festive colours') asking for money for teacher's collection at Christmas. Suggested amount is £20 each, to make a total of £280 (14 kids - private school). This is all new to me - at previous school we would all shove a fiver in and/or make a token gift. Please tell me IANBU to contribute? Anyone else been asked to contribute this kind of amount before? I don't want to rock the boat, but it doesn't sit right with me.

FreeSpirit89 Mon 01-Sep-14 16:13:35


A gift for a teacher is a token gift surely? I wouldn't give £20 that's a bit much IMO

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 01-Sep-14 16:14:00

£20 quite average at private schools I reckon. But golly it is a bit early for a collection and also its rude to specify an amount.

fatowl Mon 01-Sep-14 16:15:52

My kids are at a private international school overseas with some SERIOUSLY wealthy parents and school management have put a stop to this, ten quid group gift limit, and cards only. Some classes were getting ipads and flights to exotic locations.
Teachers were embarrassed and didn't want it.
I'm glad it stopped. (even though several class reps whined "but our teacher luffs us!!!!"

SuperWifeANDMum Mon 01-Sep-14 16:16:39


All of my children attend private school. I purchase a gift from each of the children for their teachers and give a monetary contribution from each child to the various collections. It's a special way to thank the teacher.

Imperial Mon 01-Sep-14 16:16:46

At our private school we pay £30 at the beginning of the year to cover Christmas and end of year gifts for teachers/TAs etc. It is a lot but at least then it would be done except then everyone also buys individual gifts too. Drives me crazy.

Strictly1 Mon 01-Sep-14 16:16:47

As a teacher myself I find this whole collection thing uncomfortable and unnecessary. I've received gifts, but never a collection which I would politely decline. The home grown plant or homemade card are more than enough. A thank you is all that is needed and tbh, when it's genuine and personal, lasts much longer than a box of chocs! It's sad that it's become a competitive thing for some.

Floggingmolly Mon 01-Sep-14 16:19:20

Are they actually allowed to accept gifts to that value? In any other industry they probably wouldn't be...

Soapysuds64 Mon 01-Sep-14 16:22:59

Floggingmolly - I agree! I work with a lot of nurses, who tell me that they would declare/share all gifts they receive - I would put teachers in the same category. DH would not be allowed to accept that kind of gift in his company.

MsAnthropic Mon 01-Sep-14 16:28:24

I would be unhappy about contributing to a collection for Christmas. I wouldn't mind spending £20 on a gift for a teacher, but I would prefer it to be a) a choice whether to give a gift or not and b) an individual gift and card.

It's a special way to thank the teacher.
Well, no, it's actually not a 'special' way at all. It's a very generic way that requires no more than putting a £20 note into an envelope.

And what about if you do not want to give the teacher special thanks? I did not give a gift or card to DS' reception teacher for either Christmas or end of year; quite deliberately. I chose something for £25 for his Y1 teacher and wrote her a card expressing our appreciation and saying I'd remember her for a very long time.

atticusclaw Mon 01-Sep-14 16:30:39

Mine are at private school and collections like this have gone around a few times. I have declined and have continued to buy/DCs have made a small token of thanks rather than shoving £20 in a box.

£20 is too much anyway.

BackforGood Mon 01-Sep-14 16:32:17

I don't know how different it is in private schools, but all teachers I know would be mortified to receive such a gift.
Seriously, as Strictly1 said, the ones I've remember fondly are cards or letters that someone has written something nice in, or the odd little gift {outs self completely} such as a handbag mirror I still use that was made for me (thing badge making crafts at a fair) by a boy I taught in special school about 20 years ago - I love it, as he wanted to decorate it and give it to me.
I've never worked in the sort of school that would have a collection, but I think it's really impersonal and so unnecessary....we do get paid you know.

jelliebelly Mon 01-Sep-14 16:32:55

YANBU - token gift is all that is required, private school or not. Mine both go private and the only time we've put together for a group collection it was a tenner each or what you wanted to contribute. glad we don't have class reps -what is their role exactly??

KoalaDownUnder Mon 01-Sep-14 16:34:06

I think it's weird and inappropriate. I've never heard of this happening in Australia (which is not to say it doesn't, but I know quite a few teachers).

End-of-year teacher gift should be at each family's discretion. Usually something like a box of chocs, bottle of wine, or token $5-$10 gift, accompanied by a handmade card. Dictating the amount, and making it one big impersonal gift, is wrong IMO. (And yes, the teachers I know would be embarrassed and hate it.)

lorriehearts Mon 01-Sep-14 16:54:53

YANBU, OP: I think it's totally inappropriate that you're being told to contribute £20. Would it be possible to reply in a friendly way and say that you prefer to choose your own gift? Alternatively, a quiet word with a member of staff at the school might be helpful?

lordnoobson Mon 01-Sep-14 16:55:19

tell them to fuck off, it is september

LokiBear Mon 01-Sep-14 17:15:11

I'm a teacher. State school not private. I would be absolutely mortified to receive such an expensive gift. Cards are lovely, as is wine or chocolate, but there is no need for anything more. I get paid for teaching your kids, I love it when you are grateful but you can tell me that in a card!

ConferencePear Mon 01-Sep-14 17:25:56

Another teacher Loki. I really dislike the gift thing; I am paid to do my job.
A card would be lovely though.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Mon 01-Sep-14 17:31:14

Tell them to fuck off, it's September AND fucking cheeky.

DrCoconut Mon 01-Sep-14 18:34:44

I work at a college and cannot accept gifts worth more than £10. Even then they have to be declared.

BellaBearisWideAwake Mon 01-Sep-14 18:38:31

At our school we have to declare any gift over a value of £10, or that makes us feel uncomfortable about receiving it. Not really an issue for me as a secondary teacher in reality!

Leeds2 Mon 01-Sep-14 18:40:24

I don't mind collections, but would think it should be up to you how much you wanted to contribute. I personally wouldn't want to contribute anything to a Christmas collection taking place in September.

However, in your position as a parent new to the school, I would probably just hand over the £20 to avoid rocking the boat!

Soapysuds64 Mon 01-Sep-14 19:48:01

thank you for all your comments - it is interesting that £20 is not uncommon in the private sector! I need to have a think about this........ I don't want to stick out as being the one who didn't pay, but equally I don't think it's right!

mrspremise Mon 01-Sep-14 19:48:57

It's 1st September, FFS! hmm

Mrsgrumble Mon 01-Sep-14 19:55:12

Teacher here and I would hate the thought of a 'collection'. It wouldn't feel right at all.

Card, phonecall or little gesture greatly appreciated (small) but not expected.

Little things mean a lot - perhaps a coffee voucher or handmade token.

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