Celebrating Birthdays at School

QoP Newsletter 15th April 2016

Recently I have had a number of parents and teachers share their concerns about what is beginning to happen with the celebration of children’s birthdays at school.  It seems to be that what started out as something small to recognise a child’s birthday is getting out of hand especially in the junior grades.  This is concerning to many of us for a number of reasons:

  1. We have a number of children who are either anaphylactic or have serious allergies towards specific foods and this causes the teachers great angst when giving out food, lollies etc. that are brought in.  We have a responsibility to make sure we look after the health of all our children.
  2. The amount of lollies and gifts etc. that have ended up in party bags.  It almost seems that there is a competition with each birthday getting bigger and bigger.
  3. Parents are concerned as are we about the amount of sugar that the children are consuming.  Some weeks there may be more than one birthday in the class.  We give out the party bags at the end of the day so parents can decide if they want their child to have it but most of it gets eaten before the child gets to their parent.
  4. We promote healthy eating and yet are handing out sugary treats on a regular basis.
  5. The time it takes for the teachers to give out these party bags making sure there is nothing in there that different children shouldn’t have.
  6. There are many other concerns that I could go on about.

As a school we don’t want to be complete Grinch’s about celebrating children’s birthdays so we have come up with a compromise.  Teachers have always and will continue to make the birthday child in their room feel special in a number of different ways, including giving cards, singing, choosing from the prize box etc.  Each class does it differently.  We will also begin celebrating children’s birthdays at the assemblies that I run.


If you wish to send something along to the class to celebrate your child’s birthday, it needs to be limited to a lollipop e.g. chupa chups or a Freddo Frog.  These are both safe alternatives for most children and a quick and easy to distribute.


I hope that you understand the reasons for the changes to our policy around celebrating birthdays and will support us by adhering to the guidelines. 



This policy change will take effect from next week  18/4/2016.  Therefore anything more than what we allow that is brought in will be sent back home with the birthday child.


Anthony Drill