Parents paying a high price to be teacher's pet

We've heard of school gate style wars between yummy mummies, and some parents might even confess to a touch of academic achievement envy when it comes to their kids. But it seems many parents' competitive spirit extends to gifts for their child's teacher.

Parents splash out on gifts for teacher

According to a survey by Debenhams, some mums and dads are splashing serious cash on becoming teacher's pet ahead of their rivals.

Researchers found that laptops and other gadgets, jewellery, designer handbags and even holidays had been handed to teachers by way of a thank you, despite many parents facing financial difficulties.

Seven out of ten parents of primary school-aged children and one in four parents of secondary school kids said they felt under pressure to spend their hard-earned money on a Christmas gift for teacher. And of those that did give a present, 40 per cent said they spent more than they really wanted to.

Debenhams researchers discovered that one teacher at a top London primary school had been offered an all-expenses paid trip to a family's Mustique holiday home, while another had been given a course of teeth whitening treatments.

According to the Daily Mail, one former teacher at a Home Counties village school explained: "The parents there turned it into a bit of a competition which was very awkward.

"They'd present you with gifts at the door and insist you opened them in front of the other mums. I got bottles of Bollinger champagne and luxury hampers. All very nice, but it was just as nice and far less pretentious to be given a small box of chocolates on the last day of term and a card with a few words of thanks in it."

%VIRTUAL-AFCSponserAds%Elena Antoniou, spokeswoman for Debenhams, said: "It appears parents find buying teachers a Christmas present a bit of a minefield. We have had many mums, dads and carers coming into stores asking our personal shoppers for help."

She added: "It seems worth remembering that the message from teachers seems to be to keep it simple. If you are going to buy a present it should be about saying thank you, not about trying to compete with other parents or find favour with teaching staff."

Do you feel under pressure to spend more money than you'd like on a gift for your child's teacher? Let us know below...
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