Just what you never wanted, Miss

The message to pupils is clear: if you want to give your teacher a Christmas present they adore, avoid scented candles at all costs and make something yourself.

A TES Christmas poll of 1,000 teachers has revealed the gifts they love - and hate - to get from their students. It has also revealed that millions of pounds are being spent to find that special gift for teacher.

Yet despite the ringing of tills, the poll, conducted by Mori, found that homemade cards, drawings and letters are in even greater demand than alcohol. A quarter of teachers wanted home-made gifts, although nearly a fifth preferred wine or spirits.

The presents teachers hated most were shop-bought ornaments such as picture frames, vases and scented candles.

However, teachers were divided on the issue of chocolates and sweets, which were both the third most-desired and second most-hated present. One primary teacher contacted by The TES blamed her figure on the "piles and piles of chocolate" she received each Christmas.

Teachers of some subjects get more gifts than others: most unfortunate were secondary language staff, who were nearly twice as likely as English teachers - and 18 times as likely as primary teachers - to get nothing.

On average gifts cost pound;4.30, but eight teachers reported receiving individual presents worth more than pound;100.

Leicestershire council has demanded teachers log presents. Steve Coneron, head of Limehurst high in Loughborough, said larger gifts had to be recorded - such as a beautiful sari recently given to a teacher by an Indian family - but he turned a blind eye to small items, such as bars of chocolate.

bizarre xmas gifts, News 3

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