INFORMATION FOR SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

Gifts Benefits and Hospitality

Information for School Communities

Teachers, principals and members of school councils sometimes receive offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality from members of the school community. By declaring such offers, school staff support integrity, protect their reputation, reduce complaints and build public confidence in schools.

Department policy

Whole of Government rules for accepting gifts, benefits and hospitality by Government personnel are changing. The Department of Education and Training’s Policy has been changed to reflect this and at the same time adapted for schools.

The Department’s policy can be viewed at: Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy

All personnel that represent the school or conduct business on behalf of the school must:

  • not seek or solicit gifts, benefits and hospitality for themselves or others

  • refuse offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality that may adversely affect their standing as a public official.

 

Gifts of Appreciation to school staff

Teachers often receive gifts from families and students who want to express their appreciation of the teacher’s contribution to the education of a student or students.

Where the value of such a Gift of Appreciation is $100 or less, it does not need to be declared.

A Gift of Appreciation with a value above $100 is considered by the Policy as non-token and must be declared by the recipient.

The Whole of Government rules prohibit any public sector and school-based personnel from accepting vouchers, including retail debit cards and gift cards. The Department appreciates that teachers, families and the business community will require time to adjust to the declaration process and the rules around what gifts and hospitality can and cannot be accepted by school personnel.

For more information, see: Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy

 

‘Thanks is enough’ for suppliers of goods and services

When school staff receive an offer from current or prospective suppliers of goods or services, the standard and desirable response is to politely decline, and say ‘Thanks is Enough’.

This simple gesture politely shows that staff members understand the importance of ensuring impartiality in the school’s decision-making.

While gift, benefit and hospitality offers, such as hampers, football tickets or invitations to corporate functions from suppliers, may be gestures of goodwill, they may be perceived to give businesses and suppliers a commercial edge in the future.

Accepting such offers can give rise to a conflict of interest; lead to the perception of bias among colleagues and communities; and call a staff member’s objectivity and integrity into doubt.

For more information, see: Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy

 

How do school staff declare offers?

Any and all non-token gift, benefit or hospitality offers (whether accepted or declined) and accepted Ceremonial Gifts are declared in the Department’s online Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Registry system. 

Consolidated school-based data is published annually on the Department’s website.

For more information, see: Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy