Pupils’ gifts too commercial

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!

6 thoughts on “Pupils’ gifts too commercial

  1. I once received a very expensive watch. I thanked the pupil concerned saying I was very touched but couldn’t accept such an expensive item pointing out my pleasure in teaching him and his fellow pupils was a

  2. Whereas it is the thought that counts I would hate to think that I might miss out on a brace of pheasants due to some unnecessary research by a teachers union…. I would like to think that my union subscriptions were being spent on areas of more direct relevance to my job like contractual conditions and general support for colleagues and professional development.

  3. My little boy wanted to give his teacher his favourite book. He wrapped it up and wrote a personal message inside. She was really touched but said she couldn’t keep it.

  4. As a parent I would think that it is no ones business what my child decides to give to his/her teacher as a present. I will give as I can afford. It is dear to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>