Parents have complained that an English Schools Foundation (ESF) school has put too much pressure on their children to raise funds in an annual raffle. A staff memo, written by Marshall Hughes, assistant principal of Sha Tin College and the co-ordinator of its fund-raising fair to be held today, reminded form tutors: 'Every child is expected to sell his/her allocation of two books.' Further on, it added: 'Any child who does not (or who loses the tickets) will be asked to come and see me personally to explain.' The memo gave one reason not to sell the tickets. 'The only exception to this in the past has been on religious grounds,' it read. 'In this case, a letter from the parents to this effect will exempt the child from any involvement in the raffle. In all other cases, they should sell the books.' One raffle book contains 10 tickets, each costing $10. One parent told Education Post that his son had told him he believed he would get into trouble if he did not sell all the tickets. 'They have no right to force them to sell tickets, for all sorts of reasons,' he said. Another parent said that she felt the pressure put on her daughter was unreasonable. 'This is ridiculous and not part of our family's culture,' she said. She was concerned that if she did not buy the tickets herself, her daughter would have to sell them door-to-door in their estate, which she did not think was safe. The daughter told her that individual tallies of sold tickets were read out in her class. 'Low tallies were greeted with tutting and rolling of eyes,' she said. Another parent said that his son felt 'vigorously pressed' to sell the two books, which he and his wife bought for $200. He felt the warning that students who failed to sell all tickets would have to see the assistant principal was 'grossly excessive'. 'The sniff of coercion is most unfortunate,' he said. 'If they offered merit points to everyone who sold $200 worth they would get to the same place.' School principal David Cottam said students had been encouraged to sell their tickets, but that there was no coercion. The reason they were required to report to the assistant principal was because all tickets and money had to be accounted for, he said. He would be disappointed if a student failed to sell any tickets, but many had returned their books with tickets unsold. 'It is not a disciplinary thing. No one is punished or scolded,' he said. If the wording was regarded as a problem it could be changed next year, he added. The raffle will be drawn today, during the school's annual fund-raising fair. Ten per cent of the proceeds would be donated to charity, the rest to fund 'extras' for students' benefit. Last year, over $250,000 was raised - a sum which it was hoped would be exceeded this year, the memo said.