24/03/2011 18:21 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Spend Hundreds On Designer Presents For Teachers

parents spend hundreds on designer presents for teachers Forget boxes of chocs and bottles of port – these days the average parent spends £50 on their child's end of term present for their teacher, says new research.

And many are spending over £100 and even up to £300 where they have more than one child.

Designer coats, dresses and handbags, cashmere cardigans, perfumes, watches, champagne and crystal glasses are among commonly presents, according to the research, carried out by Debenhams.

One teacher, at a London school, was offered the free use of a parent's villa in Spain.

Another received £1,000 worth of gift vouchers.

And now teachers' unions have called for them to stop.

The trend has been particularly acute at primary schools, and it is believed that some parents are trying to 'buy' favour from teachers or even secure their child a place at a secondary school.

Speaking in the Daily Mail, Carie Barkhuizen, of Debenhams, said: 'When it comes to getting teachers on side, money is no object for ambitious parents.

'The cost of an expensive piece of jewellery or cashmere clothes is paltry if it helps them avoid private school fees which can be up to £35,000 a year.'

But she said many parents are wasting their money. 'We suspect that their efforts may be misplaced. Few good teachers will be affected by such blandishments.'

Dr Mary Bousted, of teachers' union ATL, has called for the end of the culture of lavish and competitive present-giving.

'Although teachers and assistants like to be appreciated, they definitely don't expect gifts or want families to feel under pressure to get them gifts,' she said.

'Lavish gifts are now becoming the norm, not the exception. We hope this stops.'

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