You are here:

Last updated on 5 December 2019
Ref: 39018
School types: All · School phases: All

At certain times of the year, parents and pupils may wish to give your staff a little something to show their appreciation. Use our template letter to let them know what's appropriate.

Download our template letter

Adapt it to reflect your school's approach to holiday gifts. You could also use the sample text in the template in your school newsletter.

How to adapt the letter

Check your gifts and hospitality policy

Academies must have a policy on gifts and hospitality. If you're in a maintained school, you don't have to have a policy on this but your local authority may have guidance you need to follow.

If your policy requires staff to report gifts over a certain value, make sure you advise parents not to give gifts over that amount. You don't want holiday gifts to become an admin headache for staff!

If your policy also restricts the types of gifts staff can receive (for example, cash gifts may not be allowed) make sure parents know this too.

Think about your staff's needs

If your staff have diverse religious or cultural practices, you may want to remind parents to be respectful of this. It can help to give examples.

For instance:

  • Muslim staff may not drink alcohol
  • Non-Christian staff may feel uncomfortable receiving Christmas-themed cards or gifts (so more generic 'winter' themes may be more appropriate)

Make it clear that gifts aren't expected

Even if you don't mind staff receiving gifts, it's a good idea to make it clear in your letter that gifts aren't expected (our template letter has sample wording you can use).

That's because not every family in your community may be able to afford a gift. By making it clear that you don't expect them, you can help avoid the pressure some parents feel about giving presents just because other families are.

More from The Key

Anxiety (2).jpg

Pupil mental health: deepening understanding

Are you looking to deepen your staff's understanding of mental health, including anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation? Safeguarding Training Centre has the resources you need.


Evidence-led training courses that make it easy to upskill staff, anytime, anywhere.

CPD Toolkit is the most effective way to virtually deliver evidence-led training and support the professional development of your staff. Downloadable courses and online 5-minute summaries provide flexibility for training, whether staff are participating as skeleton staff in-school, via video call or individually at their own pace.

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.