A mum has shared her shock at being asked to pay £40 towards end of term presents for teachers at her child’s nursery.
The mum, known only as Ema, said her three-year-old son started nursery in September where there are six teachers. She said her son knows one teacher well, but doesn’t even know the names of the others.
Another mum decided to arrange an end of term collection for the teachers, asking all parents to contribute £40 for their child. When Ema said was happy to contribute £25, the other parent rejected her offer.
“I explained we have to budget and that’s how much I can spend. I was shocked to receive a text couple of hours later saying it is not fair towards the other mums to pay so much less then them and I am putting her in an awkward position and she will give me my £25 back,” Ema wrote on Netmums.
Other parents agreed £40 per child was too much, pointing out that if there are 25 children in the class that’s £1,000, meaning each of the six teachers will receive a gift worth £166.
“Personally even if I could afford £40 for a teacher that doesn’t mean I’m willing to spend it, simply because others are. £40 is crazy too. What happened to a box of chocolates?” one parent said.
Another added: “I have two children at school and that would be £80! At my children’s school a parent offers to do the collection for the class, but there is no set amount you have to give. Usually people give £10 but this covers teacher plus teaching assistants.”
One nursery teacher said they would be “absolutely mortified” if this happened in their nursery. “Yeah it’s nice for parents to show their appreciation, but not by collecting or spending this much money! Crazy,” they said.
Ema said she had an awkward encounter with the mum at nursery after the text exchange, where the other woman tried to convince her the £40 was necessary. She said she’d been left feeling “humiliated” by the incident, but with a larger family and bills to pay, £25 was her budget.
“I am probably still in a bit of after-shock, [I] feel humiliated and despite the school mum’s effort to enlighten me, I still feel it was unethical and that this should not be happening in the 21st century,” she said.
Other parents reassured Ema it was unnecessary to get a gift for all six teachers. “I just wouldn’t get involved with that, I’d just say I had my own thing planned. I would just get something for the teacher he really likes – his key worker perhaps,” one suggested.
Another said a handmade gift is just as valuable.
“I applaud all teachers – they are fantastic people – but I honestly think that a gift from the heart matters more than an item of huge expense,” they said. “So buy something your kid chooses for this teacher – even if it’s something they make for themselves.”