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YP Letters: Ludicrous proportions of presents for teacher

Should teachers receive end of year gifts?
Should teachers receive end of year gifts?
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From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

MINDFUL that currying favour with teachers is not a new concept – hence the silly ditty “an apple for the teacher” – I agree wholeheartedly with Christa Ackroyd’s remarks on the end-of-term practice of “presents for teacher”, which appears to be acquiring ludicrous proportions (The Yorkshire Post, July 25).

What kind of parents are giving children as much as £50 to buy tokens of gratitude to teachers who, after all, are only doing their job as professionals? And the mind boggles at what had been going on at the school which had felt it necessary to impose this astonishing sum as a cap. Setting aside the disturbing aspect of peer pressure, the practice raises the ethical question of the dividing line between gratitude and bribery, considering the increased role of internal assessment in a child’s achievement. And do parents not realise the embarrassment it might cause some teachers? As a teacher myself, the only recognition I received was a few words of appreciation at parents’ evenings and a modest leaving present when I retired.

Nor did my wife and I allow our own children to buy gifts for teachers.

I would go further and support a move from headteachers to get rid of this mawkish practice altogether.