December 2, 2016

Teachers work hard all year round, so why can’t we splurge on them with a well deserved treat?

This Christmas seems to be the year of the GRINCH!

Just this week we have shared the story of schools banning students from including candy canes and similar treats with their Christmas cards PLUS a call to ban reindeers at Christmas festivities. Top that off with a warning to parents to STOP lying to kids about Santa and Christmas is all but over as far as the Grinch is concerned.

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Today I want to discuss with you the new policy regarding gifts for teachers this year.

A note in our school newsletter this week advises parents that teachers gifts should only be of token value (under $50) or it cannot be accepted in any circumstances.

Department of Education policy issued in November 2016 states,

Officers and employees should not expect to receive gifts, benefits or hospitality for doing a job they are paid by the public to do.  In most situations, ‘thanks’ is enough.

You must never accept a gift, benefit or hospitality, token memento or modest refreshment in the following circumstances:
• It is money or money equivalent;
• A valuable object valued at $100 AUD or higher;
• You are a Government buyer and your acceptance may influence or be perceived to influence a procurement or disposal decision;
• You or your agency makes decisions or gives advice regarding the gift giver or are likely to in future and your acceptance may influence or be perceived to influence the decision or advice;
• Your acceptance may otherwise cause an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest, or may be seen by other people as a reward or incentive.

Officers and employees should not expect to receive gifts, benefits or hospitality for doing a job they are paid by the public to do.  In most situations, officers and employees should refuse gifts, benefits or hospitality if offered.

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However, in limited circumstances, it may be appropriate to consider acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality , or a modest refreshment, if offered.

On discussion with my school it became very clear that it is not even possible for parents to combine their dollars and purchase a gift together.

What a sad world it is becoming.


Has your school cracked down on what you can gift teachers?

Do you splurge on your child’s teacher? Or just give them a little token gift?

Share your comments below.

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  • We always made handmade gifts such as decorations for the tree or an ornament for our teachers and they loved it as the work was done with love, they understood that and appreciated what ever they got. You should not be limited to what you can spend on a teacher as some teachers go above and beyond their duties with some children and it is nice to be appreciated for their efforts. People who work in offices give presents or factories and have no limits so why should teachers be any different.


  • When I was at school, gifts for teachers were never done. Same when my kids went to school. I never gave it a thought


  • I don’t think banning gifts is good or saying a $50 limit unless this information goes home to all parents. Some cultures take offense if you do not accept what they have given. I was given money and tried to refuse, but the mother just pushed it into my hands and would not accept my refusal. It was a very awkward situation.


  • Surely people could just use their common sense. I doubt many parents are purchasing gifts in excess of $50 anyway. A thoughtful card is enough for most teachers, or even encourage your kid to say thank you at the end of year. Sadly, most don’t. Yes, teachers are paid to do their job but you’ll find a lot go above and beyond their “job”.


  • Really it has depended on how my children have felt with their teachers if they got anything or just a card. As for anything over $50 I am not the rich, my children do not get that much for presents.


  • I thought this was the case with all State Government jobs. I’ve never seen a formal note to parents in this format before, but my kids always love creating a card to show thanks to their teachers.


  • A group of parents combining and giving a teacher a gift by each one contributing a small amount should be more acceptable. One sensible small present is more appropriate. When did this craze start? The only thing my parents contributed to was our teachers’ wedding present. Parents with 2 or more children at school, especially if any of them have special needs and continuous medical treatment some of which is not covered by Medicare struggle financially even with a strict budget and can only afford a very small amout if at all. Stop to think how those children feel when others give teachers big/expensive presents. My parents certainly couldn’t afford much given that my Dad was physically injured and was unable to work for weeks on end, sometimes months and ran out of sick leave. My Mum had to stay home to care for him and my disabled brother. They struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.


  • It seems that there is a policy on everything now!


  • Yes, this policy is used at our school.
    To be honest I found this gift giving a bit outrageous. A teacher is doing their job and gets payed for it by their boss (the same way a nurse is payed by their boss and is not allowed to receive gifts from the patients/clients) . Their boss is the one who should give the teachers an end of year gift. BTW as parents we pay already a certain amount for our kids to go to school.


  • A small token of thanks is always lovely!


  • What a weird policy. In primary school it happened that a group of mothers gave a gift card to the class teacher. It was nice to do it together with other people, because that way you could reach a nice amount (around 300 dollars). I don’t understand much this new policy.


  • We try to find something small but nice, but this seems unfair.


  • Teachers are under appreciated enough. It’s a tough job and I think they should be splurged on. Teachers often do something for their students so why can’t it be reciprocated


  • Really? Everything is becoming too strict and legislated these days. Although some of the gifts teachers get given probably end up in the bin anyway! Perhaps a donation to a charity on their behalf, the gift of a vaccine or a goat to someone in need?


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