Should parents pay their children for good exam results?

What happens if they don’t succeed? [Photo: Pexels]
What happens if they don’t succeed? [Photo: Pexels]

Getting a good exam grade is a great enough reward in itself. Or is it?

It’s a tactic that divides parents: while during exam season some believe offering their children cash in return for As, Bs and Cs is a healthy incentive, others would never dream of it.

And we’re not talking about a few quid to buy themselves a McDonald’s with, either – we’re talking hundreds of pounds.

According to a recent survey by VoucherCodes, some children will receive as much as £300 for an A and £200 for a B (£300 for a nine, eight and seven under the new boundaries, and £200 for a six and five).

Not everyone has a natural flair for maths [Photo: Pexels]
Not everyone has a natural flair for maths [Photo: Pexels]

But how much money is too much, and should you be giving children cash incentives for academic achievement at all?

On the one hand, for many kids, GCSEs are tiresome. Without the pressure that exams in later life tend to have anyway, such as A-Levels or university exam results, perhaps that extra reason to go for gold can make the difference between getting a B and a C in the end.

And when they open their results and get the top grades they wanted, they can celebrate with a new pair of shoes.

Or on the other hand, what if they tried their very hardest and – as well as the disappointment of an E slapped on that results page – have to deal with the let down of getting no reward on top of that?

Do exams put on enough pressure as it is? [Photo: Pexels]
Do exams put on enough pressure as it is? [Photo: Pexels]

By offering money for grades – regardless of how much effort was put in – you could send out the message that what matters most is their success on paper, not working to the best of their ability.

You might also miss out on a valuable opportunity to teach them that failure isn’t always the be all and end all.

Another option parents could take is a halfway measure; instead of giving nines, sevens and fives a specific monetary value, you could get them a surprise treat – a meal out or some clothes – if everything goes well.

There’s a big difference between buying them a small treat and giving them more money than they’ve ever had in their lives.

What do you think?

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