December 2, 2019


Teachers work hard all year round, so why can’t we splurge on them with a well deserved treat?

Sadly we must discuss the policy regarding gift giving for teachers.

A note in our school newsletter advised parents that teachers gifts should only be of token value (under $50) or it cannot be accepted in any circumstances.

Department of Education TAS policy issued in November 2016 states,

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Officers and employees should not expect to receive gifts, benefits or hospitality for doing a job they are paid by the public to do.  In most situations, ‘thanks’ is enough.

You must never accept a gift, benefit or hospitality, token memento or modest refreshment in the following circumstances:
• It is money or money equivalent;
• A valuable object valued at $100 AUD or higher;
• You are a Government buyer and your acceptance may influence or be perceived to influence a procurement or disposal decision;
• You or your agency makes decisions or gives advice regarding the gift giver or are likely to in future and your acceptance may influence or be perceived to influence the decision or advice;
• Your acceptance may otherwise cause an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest, or may be seen by other people as a reward or incentive.

Officers and employees should not expect to receive gifts, benefits or hospitality for doing a job they are paid by the public to do.  In most situations, officers and employees should refuse gifts, benefits or hospitality if offered.

However, in limited circumstances, it may be appropriate to consider acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality , or a modest refreshment, if offered.

On discussion with my school it became very clear that it is not even possible for parents to combine their dollars and purchase a gift together.

NSW Policy

After yesterday sharing how one mum was shunned for not tossing in $50 for her sons Kindergarten teacher we looked into the policy for NSW teachers which states:

“Accepting gifts and other benefits has the potential to compromise your position by creating a sense of obligation and undermining your impartiality. It may also affect the reputation of the Department and its officers. You must not create the impression that any person or organisation is influencing the Department or the decisions of any of its employees.

“Always consider the value and purpose of a gift or benefit before making any decision about accepting it. A gift that is more than nominal value ($50) must not become personal property. You should either politely refuse it or advise the contributor that you will accept it on behalf of your school or workplace.

“When such a gift is accepted, you must advise your manager or Principal. They will determine how it should be treated and make a record of its receipt. Depending on the nature and value of the gift, it may be appropriate to record the gift in the asset register as a donation or other such record established for that purpose.”

Victoria policy


“A Token offer is an offer of a gift, benefit or hospitality with an estimated or actual value that is less than $50, other than for a Gift of Appreciation (Teaching Service only). Refer to Definitions for further information about Token offers.

“A Non-Token offer is an offer of a gift, benefit or hospitality with an estimated or actual value that is $50 or more, other than for a Gift of Appreciation (Teaching Service only).

“A Gift of Appreciation is an offer from or on behalf of a parent, carer or student(s) made to members of the Teaching Service (only), intended to express appreciation of the teacher’s contribution to the education of a student or students.

“Where the estimated value is $100 or less, the Gift of Appreciation is considered Token and does not need to be declared. A gift with an estimated or actual value above $100 is considered Non-Token and must be declared. For further information see Gifts of Appreciation below.

“Gifts of Appreciation may be provided by an individual or group of students, parents or carers. It is the total value of the offer rather than the individual contribution by each donor that determines if the offer is Non-Token.

“Gifts or benefits offered to a member of the Teaching Service by other members of the community (e.g. community groups, businesses) are not Gifts of Appreciation and are subject to the standard Token offer threshold of $50.

“Gifts received by a member of the Teaching Service that are valued above $100 are Non-Token gifts. Personnel must declare and seek approval to retain Non-Token gifts in the
“Registry system. These gifts have a unique legitimate business benefit: “conveying appreciation to members of the Teaching Service”.

“Non-Cash Vouchers as defined in this Policy and offered as Gifts of Appreciation may be accepted.

“Where the total estimated value of a Gift of Appreciation is equal to or exceeds $500, the Authorised Delegate has discretion to allow the Recipient to retain it only when it has been offered by multiple students, parents and/or carers. Otherwise, the Gift of Appreciation must be either declined or transferred to the ownership of the school or the Department.”

We recommend you check with your school what their policy is before going too crazy on a gift this year.


Has your school cracked down on what you can gift teachers?

Do you splurge on your child’s teacher? Or just give them a little token gift?

Share your comments below.


  • Not sure when or why this became a thing in Australia. I’ve never given gifts to teachers as a pupil or as a parent of a pupil. The thought never crossed my mind


  • I never gave the teachers gifts when I went to school, my kids didn’t give teacher gifts either and I don’t think my grandson has done it either. My DIL was a childcare worker, is now an early education teacher, she is inundated with pressies from the kids at the end of the year. So many she’ll never use them, so she re gifts a lot. Just make sure your kids are pleasant in the classroom, I’m sure teachers would appreciate that a lot more


  • I never knew this was a thing. Last year while doing placement i lesrnt that a lot of supplies come out of the teachers pockets if they run out so i did a hamper for my daughters teacher. Sticky notes, pens, stickers etc plus a box of chocolates and a letter from myself and husband. He said the letter was the best thing he could have gotten as it shows that we appreciate him and the time he took teaching our daughter. I plan to buy things throughout the year to hopefully make it cheaper as well.


  • How would they know if they did get a gift valued more ?


  • I think it’s ridiculous! It was never done when I was at school, maybe a teacher might get a Christmas card or Easter egg. But gifts is too far. My daughter in law works in childcare and every year she would be overloaded with gifts, most she never used and just gave them away. How awful would the kids who can’t afford to rake their own lunch be feeling? Not being able to give a gift?


  • didn’t realise there were policies on this


  • I think is nice to give something. I don’t imagine many parents are giving $100+ gifts at such an expensive time of year.


  • I gave my daughter’s playgroup teachers and her dancing teacher a personalised lolly jar filled with MnM’s. TBH they were $30 each and by the time I filled them they were probably around $40 each. It was her first year with teachers so wanted it to be special. Next year will be cheaper


  • I’m a teacher and I actually had no idea about any if this. I would never expect a gift but always loved things that my students made. I made a scrap book of their pictures and cards.


  • Interesting. I like to spend a little on my son’s daycare teachers at Christmas for caring for him all year long particularly as they are so warm and taught him so much. If I wasn’t so frantic this year, I hoped to organise a class collection for gift vouchers


  • Give your teacher alcohol. That’s what they really want and need in December!!


  • I only just found out the other day that it is a big thing to get your children’s childcare worker/s presents at the end of the year. Apparently parents get really competitive about it. I certainly didn’t know there were rules surrounding such gifts, but it does make sense when the article explained it.


  • I would be broke – actually couldn’t afford min $200 for my daughter’s 4 educators at kinder.
    I am making up boxes of homemade shortbread. I’m sure a bigger gift is nice but of course we can’t all afford that.


  • This isn’t new – this has been around for a while. I’ve never recieved a gift of $50 or more…usually just heaps of boxes of chocolates….


  • I’m not really sure how an end of year gift can be constituted as a bribe considering the year has ended and they aren’t likely to teach your child again the next year…….


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