Schools Ask Parents to Make Charitable Contribution

Primary school principals are urging parents not to buy gifts for teachers this Christmas. It has instead been suggested that parents who want to show their appreciation could make a donation to a children’s charity such as Barnardos or the ISPCC.

The Irish Primary Principals’ Network says the practice of buying expensive gifts for teachers, common during the boom years, was continuing, despite the economic downturn.

The network said that on Friday last an eight-year-old girl attending a Co. Dublin school presented her teacher with a €200 voucher for a city centre department store.

The organisation said the practice can put huge pressure on families who cannot afford presents. It can also cause embarrassment for teachers.

“Gift-giving to teachers and principals, while well intended, is completely unnecessary and not expected,” it said. The network is urging families to show their appreciation of teachers’ work in a different way this year.

It said teachers would be more than happy to receive a home-made card or gift from a pupil that reflects some aspect of class work engaged in during the year.

Pat Goff, network president, said that “most parents are making a voluntary contribution to schools to help with operating costs. It is important to separate this from the recent fashion of personal gifts.”


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