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Good practice?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by clermontfed, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. clermontfed

    clermontfed Occasional commenter

    I work in a small school where the head gives Christmas presents to only some members of staff.
    This sounds really trivial but I believe it is poor practice and rather divisive.
    The presents are for their hard work.
    What do you think?
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Bad idea!
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I agree. Keep to a card each and something to eat in the staff room.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    If the Head has a personal friend, then a gift unseen by everyone else, given out of school.

    Although best not to have friends while you're Head. New to middle or senior leadership? Beware the social pitfalls!

    No it isn't. It is favouritism. Makes you wonder how objectively the Pay Policy is carried out.

    Best wishes

  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I gave personal cards to all staff in my first headship and in my second, the already-established custom (about which I was firmly informed) was to sign a large card to all colleagues and then give a donation to charity.

    I didn't give gifts to anyone.
    InkyP and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. clermontfed

    clermontfed Occasional commenter

    She has indeed her favourites.
  7. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Everybody had a small gift from the HT. If there were additional presents they were given away from everybody. The premises staff did get big gift bags but considering how great they are and how much less than me they probably earn, I don't begrudge it them.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    A very bad idea - HTs should be seen to be consistent.

    Like my HT ... nothing. Not a thank you or even a Merry Christmas to the staff.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Brilliant solution to the problem @Middlemarch.
    Everybody wins then. Truly in the 'true spirit of Christmas'.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Bad, bad, bad. You can't do that.

    Who would do that?
  11. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Head teachers having friends :eek:. Surely some mistake, that cannot be allowed.

    Sorry only joking :oops:
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Should have been clearer. @les25paul


    A Headteacher shouldn't become friends with someone in school, in my view. And most certainly not get into a relationship. It can cause all sorts of hassle and disgruntlement . . .

    I can understand that some people might not agree, however.

    Best wishes

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's something all good HTs have in common.

    It's called 'being professional'. It includes NOT playing favourites and NOT getting pally with ANY of the staff. You need to respect your HT. S/he doesn't have to know everything but s/he does have to play with a straight bat!
  14. clermontfed

    clermontfed Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.
    Giving presents to a selected few is just another no no in a long list of what the HT does in the school: making life impossible for older teachers and replacing them with NQT, bad mouthing members of staff, I could go on.
  15. clermontfed

    clermontfed Occasional commenter

    Gosh this is bad!
  16. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    As an aside - what do you, or the headteacher do when your friend becomes the headteacher?
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    D'you know I've never known that to happen. All my HTs have been from outside.

    PLUS I don't do 'friends'. Especially at WORK.

    BUT you'd have to be super-strict. Both of you. Make it clear to each other that there will be no favours asked or given. Strict compartmentalisation. I know some people are really bad at that though. But anyone who aspires to being HT NEEDS to have that ability. Or learn it as a skill.
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Keep it strictly outside work. No more sitting for lunch together nor even coffee in the staffroom. A Head "belongs" equally to every member of staff and there should be no suggestion that one is in a privileged position.

    Best wishes
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    In my last job. Ht gave a wee present to all the teachers. She also gave a gift to each of the class teams usually some tea,coffee and a 'fancy piece'. Teachers gave a small gift to their team of support staff. As teachers we didn't flaunt to the support staff that we had been given an individual gift by the HT. The teaching team got together and gave the HT a bottle of her favourite wine.
  20. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Multi-quote facility not working but in answer to rouxx' question "As an aside - what do you, or the headteacher do when your friend becomes the headteacher?"
    I've had a couple of colleagues who have moved to becoming Heads, which wasn't a problem. One indeed one in a school where I was working and they were the DH previously. Even one who was a pupil from my probationary year- though that didn't provide a problem as we didn't have a 'friend' relationship just pupil/ teacher background which was the reversed to teacher / pupil in senior position.

    Theo's advice is as always spot on.(missing thumbs up icon needed here!)

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