Gift for Teacher - End of Year - NSW

End of year is approaching soon. I was going to arrange a gift for my son's teacher.
NSW Dept Ed's rules for gifts are here
I was considering getting gift cards to somewhere nice like Quay or Tetsuya's.
They will be given only at end of year and maybe I will hand them to the principal first and the principal will communicate it was from the "Kindergarten parents" rather than naming myself in particular.
Has anyone in NSW done something like this where the gift was over $50 and it was allowed to be accepted?



  • Over engineering i think.

  • Clauses 10.1 and 10.4 are easy to circumvent. Should the gift be worth less than $50 and presented as a token of gratitude, there appears to be no limit on how many times you can express your gratitude.

    DoE staff are required to complete code of conduct and corruption prevention training at the start of their employment so you can expect your son’s teacher to exercise sound judgement.

    • Good catch on the lack of stipulation on the frequency of the gift as long as the amount is less than $50, helps out alot. :)

      • Here’s a gift register from a few years ago.

        If you really want to cover your bases you could probably include a cover letter addressed to the teacher with the following part response:

        I have been advised Departmental staff must complete mandatory corruption prevention training at the onset of employment and abide by the code of conduct.

        I trust this small token of gratitude conveys my appreciation of your efforts during semester 1/term 3/whenever for [insert relevant effort being recognised].

        Thank you for supporting quality teaching and learning in NSW.

        Repeat letter and insert another reason for gratitude for another gift should a gift be warranted

    • Expressing your "gratitude" multiple times is obviously intended to circumvent the $50 limit, and is not in keeping with the principle

      Money laundering analogy anyone?

  • Box of chocolates

  • A pink lady

  • Teacher here. Chocolates and / or alcohol are the safest bets. Even if they don't drink or eat chocolate, they'll know someone who does.

    Gift card is fine. I think the idea of corruption generally is that you're trying to influence to achieve a particular outcome. If there's no incentive for corruption, I can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with it, let alone make a report about it. Hand it over after the child's end of year report if you want to stay on the safe side.

    Unless you know them really well, please don't give other physical items. I've received all kinds of wacky stuff over the years. Inspirational message LED rainbow desk-stand. Basketball shoe keyring. Will all end up in landfill sooner or later.

    My most treasured gifts however are personal cards from the parents and / or student. Makes me feel appreciated.

    • Thanks so much for what you and your profession does.

      I am providing the gift at end of year so there will be no influence as grades/ reports will have already been produced. Also the teacher who will be receiving the gift will not be the same one for next year. To be extra safe, even though I will be the only one purchasing, I will make it from the 2020 Kindy parents.

      I think a fine dining voucher would be most appropriate, something substantial that can be enjoyed by (mostly, I dont want to presume) everyone.

      • I appreciate your appreciation!

        I get paid less than if I had stayed in my previous career (business) but it's far more rewarding. Fine dining sounds like a generous gift! Don't forget to write a (separate) card as well though, the teacher has obviously made an impact on you and your child.

        • I have always respected teacher and their often difficult task.
          Yes, the teacher in question has made my son's Kindy experience very enjoyable, he is sad not to attend school.
          Thanks again. :)

        • Yup on the payment stuff. I went into IT and my brother went into teaching. By the time I received my, begged for, final package I was on, roughly, three times my brothers salary. My brother teaches in a small coastal high school, and he loves his job, but I wouldn’t have done it even if they paid me my IT salary. Any teacher worth their salt is doing a lot more than the “official” hours and “home schooling” actually means more work for the teacher not less. Thanks for stepping up this year.

      • You can give it directly to the teacher- you don't have to remain anonymous. The teacher is just expected to declare it to their principal.
        I have received a very generous restaurant voucher and just let my principal know. It's really no big deal!
        As captaincabinets stated, the most memorable gifts are the personal notes from kids and their parents.

      • Why do you feel such a strong need to give more than the $50 limit in the guideline? So much so you are even posting about it online and making it a big thing.

        I do hope if you want to do this "2020 Kindy Parents" thing that you will be making this gift anonymously and quietly rather than telling all the other parents you made a substantial gift on their behalf. Otherwise, your intentions may be questioned. Have you considered that it's possible the other Kindy parents don't want you getting a gift 'from' them when it isn't really?… Some may feel personalised messages of gratitude from each child and parent more appropriate and more important than higher monetary value.

        Giving over expensive or extravagant gifts often creates awkwardness not just for the recipient, but others (Other parents, other teachers they may not have received such things etc). For example, it may not be your conscious intent, but other parents may think you are trying to 'one up' them, show off, and/or there will be less well off families / parents out there who will feel pressured to chip in or give gifts of higher value that may be under pressure to do so (e.g. perhaps with multiple kids / teachers and COVID job pressures etc) to be on par with others.

        …Sorry to point out the possible negative side of what you are doing here, but the movie "Bad Moms" comes to mind… don't be Christina Applegate's character.

        Let's face it, gift giving is often about the gift giver feeling good, or if doing it publicly, looking like they are generous for their self-image (rather than just for the benefit of the recipient). If this is not your intent, if you truly just want to express genuine gratitude for a job well done - do it on the quiet…

        Rather, if you just give a $50 value gift that conforms with the guidelines, but with messages from the heart that say thank you in a genuine way that get's the message across that they are doing a good job, they will feel appreciated. If they were in it for the money they wouldn't be a teacher! They are doing it for the kids and would be happy to to know the good job they are doing is being appreciated. Besides, as for the monetary value, if 10-20 parents gave $50 this it would be $500-$1000 which is a plenty nice enough token of appreciation I'm sure.

        This may be good advice for other contexts too - if you are expensive gift giver generally, think about whether you are making people uncomfortable (e.g. are you that richer family member that always gives $100+ gifts to extended family at Christmas time when others don't really,… if so, chances are you are putting pressure on others who maybe can't afford it to lift the game and inadvertently making people feel down more than you realise… and people may not like you for that trait).

    • I second that! The best gifts I have received are the personal cards from students, it gives you the satisfaction that you have made an impact in that child's life.

      Bunnings cards and alcohol are always much appreciated though!

  • 1kg of Coffee from Pablo's or Inglewood, she'll need it.

  • Parker Pen with custom engravings?

    • Sounds like a thoughtful gift, will keep personalised fountain pens in mind.

      • Got a teacher in my fam and it's one of the nicer gifts that they've received.

        Other things we got over the last 10 years

        • Good Food Gift Card with hand written note
        • Bunnings Gift card with customized key ring holder that looks self-made
        • Handwritten notes with non-alcoholic wine
        • Thermos Jug (Zojirushi) for hot drinks. (actually preferred over customized mugs or drinkware — lots of students gift these and we end up with too many)

        The best gifts always come with a handwritten message. It's a good idea to put some effort into those.

        • Non alcoholic wine is a risky gift.
          It won’t appeal to people who like wine, and won’t appeal to people who don’t. So it has a very small audience who would like it, which makes it hard to even re-gift.

          • @mskeggs: In this case it was known to the parents that we don't drink much alcohol, so it was gift that was given after thorough research into the recipients drinking preferences. But yeah personall I'm not a big wine drinker so I wouldn't know if there is a difference between alcohol free-wine vs ordinary.

    • I would recommend a Fisher one instead. They fold down to a small size.

  • $20 bottle of wine. hits the spot every time. can be consumed or regifted.

  • +26 votes

    One of my friends is a teacher, the best gift she got cost $0. Was a genuine letter from the student thanking her. She reads it every now and then when she feels stressed or like crap, the letter lets her know it's worth it.

    • ^^This^^
      My mother was a teacher for 40+ years. She only kept the letters/cards. Cheap gifts are worthless by comparison.

    • 100% agree. I've kept letters from ex-students and read them every now and then when the day/week has gone to shit. It gives me reassurance that they're doing well in life and have improved vastly compared to the past.

  • Not more candles or mugs

  • Jeez just get whatever gift card you like and hand it to the teacher, no one is going to care.

    • ^This. Cash is even better. Based on what I hear on the radio teachers spend a lot of their own money on classroom needs. Maybe a nice fat Officeworks voucher if cash can't be done.

      Bunnings for fun (with a bonus of trolley dog spotting) and Officeworks for work. I can't imagine anyone not liking a wander through Bunnings.

      Personally I would hate fine dining. The idea just fills me with the stress of having to dress up and be waited on. Booze is fine, just fine :)

    • A Jou Jou gift card would cover all bases.

  • Gift card to get plastered.

    (Teachers, feedback?)

  • One of my Techer mate work well to do school went buy new car car dealer owner son is one student gave him $6000 of a brand new car.

  • A baggie of acid or meth to escape reality is probably the kindest gift you can give.

    • hmmm not sure where 8 weeks come in - we finish on Dec 18 and will be back officially on Jan 27.

      The majority of teachers I know will be back working in the week beginning 18 January, organising classrooms, preparing work, undertaking professional development. Staff who are in leading teachers roles and principal class level will be required to be at school during this time. Not officially of course, but you know all about corporate culture and being seen to be taking part - well the same happens in schools.

    • A lot of the work in teaching is done at home. For example, marking, preparing lessons, organising excursions and preparing for meetings.

    • Mate I'm not a teacher, but I work for the Department, and I know how much work outside of school hours teachers do. It's this kind of toxic attitude toward teachers that perpetuates the (ill-informed) notion that teaching is an easy job. I guarantee most of the muppets who say these kinds of things wouldn't last a semester teaching.

      • Calm down was tounge in cheek, have a SIL a teacher and a few friends so i hear all about it. My daughter is going to uni next year to do teaching.

        • Sorry didn't mean to go all out at you, but my comment is just from the constant bagging of the teaching profession that I see and hear all too often. Wasn't meant to be personal, it's more of a broader message to the community to stop making fun of teaching. I think we should all give the respect our teachers deserve because it should be a respected profession. They are shaping the minds of the future, after all.

  • A box of apples. The smitten variety would be a good choice.

  • A covid cure.

  • Has anyone in NSW done something like this where the gift was over $50 and it was allowed to be accepted?

    We're allowed to accept gifts over $50 but we must declare them to our Principal. Usually they note it down in a register and we keep it unless it's very substantial, in which case we either donate it to the school or return it to the gifter.

    I agree with other commenters here. My best gifts were letters/cards from parents and students.

    • You are obviously a teacher, THANK YOU for working so hard, especially the kast few crazy months 😊

      Don't you however think $50 is too little nowadays? I would struggle to find something worth it at this price, you know, we don't want to gift something shitty either.

      • I can understand the rules about the appearances of bribes and favourtism. You are right, $50 doesn't give alot of room to work with these days.

        There was a suggestion to do something like buy quite a few giftcards at say $40 each and spread them out to potentially dodge the issue of the teacher being unable to accept the gift.

      • It's not a limit, they just have to declare it. It's understandably low as it's just the same amount as for all public servants. $50 for a driving tester is a pretty nice gift all things considered.

        • it isn't the same for all public servants. It actually differs from department to department and some departments actually do have hard limits, though above $100 it must be recorded and publicly disclosed, think that is for all departments since 2019.

      • Aww thank you!

        TBH I freak out when I get stuff over $10-$15. I think $50 is a nice gift from the whole class but way too much from a single parent/student. But honestly, the gifts I really appreciated were very personalised i.e things students made (with time and effort) or something from their culture (which teaches me something about their culture). I've received some very interesting books, statues, artwork etc from Middle Eastern, African and South East Asian students which I absolutely love and remember who they were from.

        Chocolates are nice but we all end up gaining 5+ kgs over the holidays.

        I hope that helps. Please don't get anything crazy expensive for your child's teacher. Just know that what we really appreciate at the end of the day are having kids in class who are an absolute blessing and joy to teach. This mainly stems from good parents who values their child's education and caters to their needs.

        • Thanks for your thought, I would try to keep the gifts more personalised in the future, great idea.

  • I didn't actually know there where rules around that, we are in QLD and have given our kids' teachers many gifts on their birthdays and Xmas for gratitude, usually perfumes and chocolate. We would make sure the kids are involved to teach them to appreciate their teachers, I would prefer the personal "thank you" over giving it through the principal.

    And, thank YOU for appreciating teachers mate, they work very hard and are hardly appreciated.

  • My mother recently retired after teaching at some of the roughest high schools in the country for 42 years.

    Her retirement gift from the Department of Education and the School combined was a plastic ballpoint pen with the school's name on it.

    The best thing you can give them is a personalised card discussing how they helped you.

    My mum still has her favourite card's from over the years.. meanwhile chocolates/gift cards/etc are long forgotten.

    • Yes there will be a personalised card. At this moment since I am blessed with a full time job, I want to gift something that would be a reasonable percentage of what my means are right now.

      Much gratitude to your mum.

      • Every Xmas through my primary years, use to give my teachers one of those 'fancy' cards that plays music when you open it up, along with a box of chocolates or candy.
        Now saying that makes me remember worrying about the choccies melting during our hot Xmases haha and I would put them in the fridge/freezer overnight.
        Ahhhh memories! Thanks for making this thread hehe.

        Dunno if you could just slip the giftcard/s in the same envelope. Obvious gift.

    • Unfortunately so many public servants, teachers, nurses etc, go very un-noticed when they retire. Very disappointing. Much respect to your mum.

  • Usually, my kid custom/pick a mug for her teacher with some nice chocolates and a card.

  • a custom Christmas bauble

  • I think I’d also add don’t forget about the rest of the people that work hard all year for your kid.
    Admin, Reception, IT, Maintenance.

  • +4 votes

    Not sure why you feel the need to circumvent the $50 rule. Have you considered that by doing so you are placing the teacher ink an awkward position and anything over $50 probably will be refused.

    Why not make something that has an ingredient value under $50 and shows you valued them enough to spend you and your child's time creating it. A friend made beeswax wraps and raspberry chia jam and gifted two jars of jam with two beeswax wraps for each teacher and the teachers were thrilled at a natural, sustainable, personalised gift. Takes time and elbow grease and was a mother-child adventure with home made labels personalised for each teacher.
    Just a thought cause the good teachers will care more about the child than the cash value.

    • Many thanks for your advice.
      Yes, there will definitely be a hand crafted card from my child.
      At the moment I am very blessed with a full time job and I am in a position where I can offer something more in line with my means.
      It is not my intention to place any NSW Dept Ed staff in an awkward position and run afoul of their rules.

      • At the moment I am very blessed with a full time job and I am in a position where I can offer something more in line with my means.

        is not compatible with

        It is not my intention to place any NSW Dept Ed staff in an awkward position and run afoul of their rules.

        Monetary value is NOT the way to show appreciation. divorce yourself from that idea and think more around investing time and effort, will be more appreciated and remembered.