teachers reveal their worst end-of-year gifts

A thong, lube and a stolen car radio feature in a list of the worst end-of-year gifts received by teachers.

It has become tradition for schoolchildren to show their appreciation for a special teacher’s efforts with an end of term gift, but it seems not all of them are opting for obvious choices like a card or a box of chocolates.

Teachers have been presented with everything from a bag of potatoes to a “plan your wedding” book – despite having no marriage plans, parenting website Mumsnet has revealed.

A poll of more than 1,200 teachers and teaching assistants also revealed some givers could not resist getting stuck into the gift before they handed it over – with one teacher saying they had received a half-eaten box of chocolates.

According to the survey, what teachers and teaching assistants really want is something personal and cost-free.

Asked what they would like to receive, the most popular answer was a personal note or card from a child (64%), followed by a personal note or card from a parent (57%).

Around half of teachers said they valued any present, but many more worried that parents or carers may feel pressured into contributing to a whole-class gift.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said: “This feels like a classic gifting struggle: hassled parents trying to do the nice thing but not at all sure what to give – and occasionally going very wrong indeed.”

Roberts suggested teachers were “inwardly quaking at an avalanche of scented candles” when they really wanted something cost-free and personal.

“The ideal solution seems to be a low-pressure class collection for a voucher and a scrapbook full of messages from the small people concerned,” she added.