Falkirk council bans pupils and parents from giving teachers gifts

Schools in Falkirk have been advised to ensure pupils do not give gifts to teachers.
Schools in Falkirk have been advised to ensure pupils do not give gifts to teachers.
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Christmas has been cancelled for school pupils by council chiefs who banned them from giving gifts to their teachers.

Schools have been advised to tell parents and pupils not to give any Christmas presents to teachers and staff.

Employees at Falkirk Council 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.

The ban has been met with anger from parents who could not understand why it has now been put in place.

One parent, who did not want to be named, saw red when she received a pre-Christmas newsletter from her child’s primary school last week.

The newsletter stated: “As we approach Christmas and recognise that children often bring gifts to school for teachers and other staff, we have been asked to share a new policy from Falkirk Council which prevents any employee from receiving gifts.

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“We therefore ask that if you or your child wishes to gift anything to staff that this could possibly be in the form of a card. We appreciate your co-operation.”

The angry mother could not see why a pupil should be barred from showing gratitude to their teachers.

She said: “My son has given his teachers a Christmas present every year he has been at the school.

“I don’t see what the harm is - he just wants to show his teacher how much he appreciates the job she is doing and the help she gives him.

“He got quite upset when I told him what the newsletter said and couldn’t understand why giving his teacher a present was a bad thing.

“It’s never anything big or expensive, just something thoughtful.”

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Members, officers and employees of Falkirk Council are required to strictly adhere to its policies and procedures.

Policies such as the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, the Code of Conduct for Members and Officers, and employees’ Conditions of Service contain rules on issues such as gifts and hospitality.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “Some parents and pupils choose to offer a gift to a member of the school team at this time of year.

“While the sentiment is understood, the council has agreed a policy which sets out clearly that no member of staff working for Falkirk Council should accept gifts or hospitality.

“This policy has been in place for non-teaching staff for a number of years.

“If any gifts or hospitality offers are accepted then these must be properly recorded and headteachers or service managers should be informed.”