Chil­dren banned from giv­ing teach­ers Christ­mas gift

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Camilla Turner ED­U­CA­TION ED­I­TOR

CHIL­DREN have been banned from giv­ing their teach­ers Christ­mas presents af­ter coun­cil chiefs said it could be seen as a bribe.

Schools have been ad­vised by Falkirk coun­cil to in­struct par­ents and pupils not to make fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions to any staff presents.

A trade union rep­re­sen­ta­tive said the coun­cil was be­holden to rules set by Her Majesty’s Rev­enue & Cus­toms, but an HMRC spokesman de­nied this was the case.

One pri­mary school sent a let­ter to par­ents which said: “As we ap­proach Christ­mas and recog­nise that chil­dren bring in gifts for teach­ers and staff, we have been asked to share a new policy from Falkirk coun­cil which pre­vents any em­ployee from re­ceiv­ing gifts. We there­fore ask that if you or your child wishes to gift any­thing that this could pos­si­bly be in the form of a card.”

The move has pro­voked crit­i­cism from par­ents who said they merely want to show their grat­i­tude.

One mother said: “I don’t see what the harm is – my son just wants to show how much he ap­pre­ci­ates his teacher.”

Coun­cil staff have been sub­ject to the ban for a num­ber of years but it is be­lieved that this is the first year that it has ap­plied to teach­ers.

A coun­cil spokesman said: “While the sen­ti­ment is un­der­stood, the coun­cil has agreed a policy which sets out clearly that no mem­ber of coun­cil staff should ac­cept gifts.

“If any gifts are ac­cepted then these must be prop­erly recorded and head teach­ers in­formed.”

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