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Anger at An Post gift cards for teachers

NEW teacher gift cards aimed at parents of school-going children have been described as a "cynical marketing ploy" by the teachers themselves.

The gift cards are being sold by An Post and various stores to give to teachers as an end of term present.

Peter Mullan of the INTO, which represents primary teachers, advised parents to "ignore the cards completely".

"If children or parents want to say thanks at the end of the year they can do it with a handmade card," he said.

"No parent should feel under pressure to give a gift or buy one of these gift cards," he said.

Fianna Fail Education spokesman Charles McConalogue called for the immediate withdrawal of the cards. He said the cards were "creating a culture where something is expected at the end of the year."

The companies were not "recognising the real financial pressure many families and schools are under."

Mr Mullan urged parents to "resist such marketing ploys."

"An Post is a semi-State company and they should know better." Mr Mullan said many schools around the country had written to parents urging them to ignore this kind of marketing and that parents should not be fooled into thinking others are spending large amounts on teaher's presents.

A spokeswoman for One For All said they had introduced the cards about two years ago because of consumer demand.

"June is one of our busiest periods because of Father's Day and the Teacher Thank You cards. We wouldn't be telling anyone they have to buy them. This idea was consumer-led."

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She said many parents clubbed together to buy the cards and they could do this online through the 'Friend-Fund' facility on the website.

The One For All cards are on sale for a minimum of €15 and a maximum of €500. If bought in a post office there is a €2 handling charge and if bought online the fee is €3.49.

The cards cost a minimum of €10 and a maximum of €320 with a €5.25 postage fee in Dunnes Stores.

csheehy@herald.ie


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