Gifts to cry for

This summer it will be different. No more staring at nasty knick-nacks or improbably pungent bath salts bought by tearful pupils to mark the end of the school year.

Marks and Spencer - knickers purveyors to the nation - has spotted a gap in the market and is labelling an upmarket selection of chocolates, mugs, and bathroom paraphernalia as ideal July gifts for a teacher near you. But it's not all good news. Mamp;S has outlawed booze as an "inappropriate" gift. Try convincing Ms Jones it's inappropriate after a year taming 14-year-olds. And if good taste reigns, what happens to the staffroom Weirdest Gift contest?

Can car boot sales survive without teachers flogging unwanted gifts after a decent interval? Surely, major social changes are afoot - unless, that is, the kids carry on choosing the presents. When you get Quality Street and pink china kittens, you'll know a seven-year-old really loves you.

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