“Teachers get expensive thank-you presents these days!” says department store selling thank-you presents

Despite this cash-strapped age, parents looking to convince their child’s teacher into giving better grades are going to ludicrous lengths to impress, says unlikely-sounding news articles in the Express and the Daily Mail: 

FORGET APPLES…TODAY’S TREAT FOR THE TEACHER IS A PARADISE HOLIDAY

Parents are giving teachers increasingly lavishing gifts

AN apple on the desk will no longer get you in a teacher’s good books, according to a survey of parents.

Mums and dads are splashing out on expensive and elaborate gifts to win favour for their children.

Some presents are worth hundreds of pounds – including laptops, jewellery and even free holidays.

Source: Daily Express, 12 December 2012

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Modern ways of sucking up: Teeth whitening, trips to holiday homes and laptops among gifts being given to teachers to curry favour
– But teachers still appreciate the cheaper gifts like note cards and pot plants

While many will be tightening their belts this Christmas, there is one group who can still expect to be spoilt.

And no, it’s not the children.

Instead, cxpensive Christmas presents will be lavished on schoolteachers as parents splash out in a bid to curry favour in the classroom.

Despite a cash-strapped festive season, parents are still prepared to blow the budget when it comes to gifts for their children’s teachers.

Source: Daily Mail, 11 December 2012

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That parents spend such vast amounts on their child’s teacher is a shocking and weird notion, I’m sure you’ll agree – if it’s true. What can be said for certain, is that the article featured in both the Express and the Mail comes from a single source, with a clear vested interest in stressing that a good parent who really cares about their child will buy gifts for their child’s teachers:

Debenhams carried out their survey after their personal shoppers reported being approached by customers to help choose suitable gifts for teachers.

However … all that parental effort could well be wasted as some of the top ten Christmas presents teachers claim to appreciate the most, are the least expensive; such as chocolates, a bottle of alcohol, note cards or a pot plant.

Debenhams spokeswoman, Elena Antoniou, said: ‘While it is a lovely thought to buy a gift, we would stress that there are many low-cost options in our stores that would make delightful presents, without the need for any parents to feel they have to go over budget.’

In fact, both the articles in the Express and Daily Mail are derived from the same extensive press release put out by Debenhams, which itself was complete with quotes from teachers, parents and the Good School Guide, providing all the possible depth any news report could ever want, giving the journalist the least amount of work to do themselves:

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It’s fair to say it worked, too – with the Daily Mail reproducing an impressive 91% of the press release in their article. It’s not clear how much of the article in the Express was written by Nathan Rao, however, but it’s possible he contributed barely a word to it.

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