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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 July 2006, 00:40 GMT 01:40 UK
Teachers 'prefer ethical gifts'
Many pupils give their teacher an end-of-term present
Many teachers would rather receive an ethical gift that benefits children in developing countries than chocolate or a bottle of wine, a survey suggests.

The poll of 90 teachers by the Times Educational Supplement and Unicef found water pumps, mosquito nets, goats and medication were the most popular gifts.

Some 13% of respondents had received an ethical gift from a pupil.

And 97% said pupils should get involved with ethical giving and fundraising as part of their citizenship lessons.

Eight in 10 of the teachers said children were more interested in issues surrounding the developing world than they had been five years ago.

Gifts the teachers would most like
Ethical gift 58%
Wine 17%
Chocolates 11%
Bath/beauty product 6%
Photo frame 6%
Ornament 2%

Source: TES/Unicef survey

And 68% said they taught their pupils about the role and importance of aid to the developing world.

Many of the teachers (49%) had not purchased an ethical present themselves.

But 26% had bought such a present for a friend and 25% had done so for a family member.

Spokeswoman for Unicef, Nicky Hornzee, said the survey findings were "hugely encouraging".

Up to 10 gifts

"Ethical giving is a tangible way of showing children how even small donations can make a difference overseas.

"And it's a good way of easily explaining the importance of giving," she said.

"You can buy three mosquito nets for 13, protecting three families from malaria, and a goat for 26, which provides not only nutrition but can help out in other areas."

The poll found the majority of those questioned (68%) received end-of-term presents from pupils worth up to 5 and 25% received gifts worth between 5 and 10.

Most (62%) received between one and 10 presents at the end of term.

In a TES survey conducted last Christmas, almost a quarter of teachers said they would rather receive a home-made gift than flowers or candles.

Ornaments, as in this survey, were among the least wanted gifts.

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