Leader comment: teacher gift ban

Falkirk Council should perhaps be forgiven for writing to parents to inform them of a ban on gifts to teachers and other public employees.

Should pupils be allowed to give gifts to teachers? (Picture: Phil Wilkinson)
Should pupils be allowed to give gifts to teachers? (Picture: Phil Wilkinson)

Given the current somewhat fevered standard of public debate in which any hint of impropriety can quickly become a social media sensation, council officials must be careful.

But surely a pupil handing over a token of appreciation to their teacher at Christmas is a fairly harmless thing to do.

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Falkirk council bans pupils and parents from giving teachers gifts

Isn’t it the sort of act that spreads a bit of goodwill during the season designed to promote it? Like anything, it can go wrong if people go too far.

If a freely given gift becomes an expectation and parents, particularly those of limited means with several children, feel they must give something, then an innocent and pleasant tradition becomes corrupted.

But, assuming parents have not been drawn into handing over increasingly over-the-top presents designed to get wee Isla or Jimmy an extra gold star, we should live in a world where a reasonable gift does not spark recriminations, bribery accusations or a full-scale public inquiry.