The ATL has criticised extravagant end of term gifts to teachers such as jewellery and opera tickets, and claims they prefer presents made by their pupils.
85% of teachers have received chocolates, making them the favourite end of term gift for teachers, the Independent reports. Other popular presents include flowers, alcohol, toiletries and mugs, according to a survey from the ATL.
However, competitive parents have raised the stakes, buying extravagant presents including gift vouchers worth £1,000, a Tiffany Bracelet, a Mulberry handbag and even a brace of pheasants. ATL claims that what teachers welcome most are cards, paintings or jewellery made by their pupils. The union is also concerned about the trend towards class-wide presents, where every pupil is asked to contribute £5 or £10 towards one large gift.
Ex-teacher and ATL president Alison Sherratt said: “Parents certainly shouldn’t feel pressure to buy a gift. One of the most precious gifts I ever received was a tiny key ring of an elephant wearing a vest saying “My Best Teacher” from a little boy I taught.” Mary Bousted, the union’s General Secretary, added: “Staff certainly don’t want their pupils to feel they have to give presents and feel humiliated if they can’t afford to do so,” she said. “Staff are just as delighted by a handmade gift or card – the thought really does count.”
What has been the most extravagant gift you’ve received from pupils – and would you rather have received something that they made themselves? Share your thoughts with the Eteach community!