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Local Council has banned teacher gifts

(146 Posts)
Originalfoogirl Fri 08-Dec-17 11:55:45

Our Local Authority has advised schools to send a letter to parents stating that they should not buy Christmas gifts for teachers as it goes against their policy on employees accepting gifts.

Our school has not sent a letter (yet), but it's very well publicised locally that others have.

I'm not big on teacher gifts anyway but did want to give a little something to her TAs who are excellent and go above and beyond. Should I ignore what I know, given the school haven't (yet) sent a letter. They are really bad at timings and I expect a letter on the second to last day or something! Not ideal if you have already bought something.

Or, would making a donation to the school be a better idea?


Allthebestnamesareused Fri 08-Dec-17 11:57:28

If the school hasn't sent the letter then I would still give a gift if I wanted. Perhaps make sure it isn't something personal (eg. relates to the TA's hobby etc) in case they do issue the letter last minute. If it is something like booze or chocs it can be used for someone else.

kissmethere Fri 08-Dec-17 12:21:51

Wow I'd love to know which LA this is! I'm all for giving teachers gifts but sometimes it's got so out of hand I've wondered if any higher power would step in to stop it.

Commuterface Fri 08-Dec-17 12:26:39

Good! I work in HE and keep the gifts and hospitality register. We are not allowed to accept anything worth more than a nominal amount (think a diary, calendar etc.)

I’ve just given £5 for the teacher’s joint class gift (gift voucher) but it doesn’t sit well with me that a teacher in a state school can have an additional £150 without it being declared.

Iwanttobe8stoneagain Fri 08-Dec-17 12:27:12

I actually think this is long overdue. It was ok when it was a box of quality street but parents have to get into competitive gift giving. Most other professions where there could be the perception that independence could be affected by gift giving has long banned or limited them. What about the families who can’t afford gifts?

Commuterface Fri 08-Dec-17 12:28:02

Sorry OP; in answer to your question a gift worth a nominal amount should be fine.

waterrat Fri 08-Dec-17 12:29:36

good! It's completely out of hand. From being an end of year thank you it's become a constant end of term thing putting pressure on parents and being awkward for right minded teachers - which teacher wants their parents jointly gifting them over a hundred quid?

I think it's part of a wider materialism in our culture - we should teach our children to say thank you without spending money. A card/ a flower from your garden/ baking some cupcakes - all fine and a good lesson in gratitude for kids. But collecting money is unnecessary as are pointless expensive gifts.

ShatnersWig Fri 08-Dec-17 12:29:57

Good. Most teachers I know hate the endless supply of chocolates and toiletries or the parents who do "oneupmanship" over who gives the best presents.

In my day, at secondary school, if a teacher was leaving kids would often get up a collection to buy them a gift. At primary, a letter went home to say teacher was leaving and if any parent wanted to contribute to a leaving gift etc. There was none of this mad Xmas and end of year present giving.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Fri 08-Dec-17 12:32:02

Would you be allowed to buy something for the staff as a whole and perhaps give a card or letter of thanks individually?

We have bought boxes of biscuits for nurses, which came to more than £5, but won't do that individually.

The best gifts were heartfelt letters of thanks though, or something small and personal. I had a fridge magnet once, with a lovely phrase on it. That meant as much as an expensive, but impersonal gift.

ThisLittleKitty Fri 08-Dec-17 12:33:54

Good. I won't be buying my sons teacher a present and worried it will look like I'm tight if I don't so I would rather it just wasn't allowed at all.

Originalfoogirl Fri 08-Dec-17 12:36:46


It's in Scotland, if you google it there's a few stories out there 😀

Leeds2 Fri 08-Dec-17 12:38:10

I think a gift for the classroom - gluesticks, pencils, sharpeners etc - are probably better appreciated and of more use. I bet these aren't banned!

JT05 Fri 08-Dec-17 12:59:25

When I taught all gifts over a certain value (£5) I think had to be recorded.
I taught in areas of deprivation, so few gifts and non were expected.

EB123 Fri 08-Dec-17 13:02:15

Good. Too much pressure on parents and there are only so many best teacher mugs or twee plaques a teacher needs!

MaidenMotherCrone Fri 08-Dec-17 13:03:18

It has become silly though. If you want to say thank you then actually say thank you to them. Letters can be read again and again long after a teacher has retired and I'm sure that would mean so much more.

Namechange90 Sat 09-Dec-17 14:32:23

This was never a thing when I was in school, and I won't be doing it when my kids start school. They get paid to teach, why get a gift too?

cardibach Sat 09-Dec-17 14:37:26

Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, Namechange it is not a new thing. I’m over 50 and my parents were teachers. I remember them bringing lots of chocolates etc home every Christmas.

ginandlimonade Sat 09-Dec-17 14:40:31

I agree with a previous poster. Chocolate and or wine, fine. The ridiculous levels over the last few years are not fine.

sailorcherries Sat 09-Dec-17 14:43:05

I teach and I'm all for this.
I chose to teach, knowing the difficulties, and will treat all children equally, I don't need you to spend money on me as a way of gaining favour.
I also don't eat dairy or meat which means that I can't/won't use a lot of goods, and I also only use certified cruelty free products which excludes a lot of toiletries. I hate accepting gifts knowing I won't use them but equally cannot reject a gift by the 5 year old giving it to me; and knowing that the parents should really be spending that on their children.

However as another poster has mentioned, saying thank you or giving a meaningful letter/card is more than appreciated.

HamishBamish Sat 09-Dec-17 14:46:15

I think this is a great idea. Gifts for teachers are getting out of hand. If you want to thank a teacher then write them a letter or card. They don’t need gifts as a show of appreciation

centreyoursoul Sat 09-Dec-17 14:47:18

Lovely attitude sailor smile

TitsalinaBumSqoosh Sat 09-Dec-17 14:49:17

I have bought gifts for the classroom as a whole this year rather than the teachers and children separately. It's my son's last year and my other son's first year so I wanted to do something a bit nice.

Namechange90 Sat 09-Dec-17 14:56:25

@cardibach yes probably given to them by fellow teachers. Not parents.

Balfe Sat 09-Dec-17 14:57:27

This story isn't accurate at all. Falkirk Council released a statement clarifying that small gifts are perfectly acceptable. One school went totally overboard with its own letter.

sailorcherries Sat 09-Dec-17 14:57:30

centre I'm unsure if that's sarcasm.

I don't brandish my spending and eatimg habits about, and so parents will not know. They buy me things I won't use and send them to school with their 5/6 year old (I'm predominantly based in the lower school). I don't want to upset or reject a present from a child but end up left with things I regift pr chocolate my OH eats.
I'd much rather those familys spent that money on a present or day out for their child.

The only things I've ever kept, and will continue to keep, are cards. Two cards from a parent expressing their thanks and delight over their childs progress; and one handmade card from a child, who lives in extreme poverty and hardship, because they wanted me to have something to open and make me happy. I cried and had to get SMT to fill in until I composed myself. Those things, particularly the last, make my job worthwhile; not a box of chocolates.

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