Parent Teacher Association
Firstly, may we extend a very warm welcome to our school and especially to families new to our school community. We very much hope that you will enjoy your association with the school and that the PTA can play its part in involving you in our activities and in the vibrant life of our school.
We realise it can be strange and a little nerve-wracking joining a school, there always seems to be so many questions to ask. This welcome pack aims to set out all the information you will need about our Parent Teacher Association, which is a major part of our school life.
What is the PTA?
The PTA is an Association of up to 16 people including parents and teachers who have formed into a Committee primarily to advance the education of the pupils of our school. Committee members normally serve for a period of four years. New members are elected every year to fill the vacancies left by people whose term of office has expired or who wish to stand down.
The PTA Committee members meet on a regular basis to discuss and organise fundraising events. The Friends of the PTA and PTA Class Representatives are an invaluable back-up team for the Committee. They agree to be contacted when a fundraising event is being organised. PTA Committee members and ‘Friends of the PTA’/Class Reps work as a team to organise and run events. If you are interested in finding out more about how the PTA works before applying to join the Committee, being a Friend and/or Class Rep is a good way of finding out how everything works.
Why do we have a PTA?
We are very fortunate at our school to have a PTA that is, and has been, such an
integral part of the school community for many years.
The main reason why most people join the PTA (or the ‘Friends of the PTA’) is to get involved because we all have one special, precious thing in common – our children. The PTA work primarily to make our school the best we possibly can for our children. It is also true to say that a large part of this work is expended to help raise much-needed funds for the School.
In its time the PTA has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds, which have been spent on improving equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education and school life experiences. However our PTA is about much, much more than just fundraising. It exists to provide closer links between home and school, and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. It is great fun too!!! Obviously, as in any organisation, there are times when it is more ‘challenging’, but with the continued support of parents and staff our PTA has always succeeded in its efforts.
The PTA is not an ‘elite’ group, all parents and members of the school community can get involved if they want to, we recognise that our time is very precious so even if you only have a small amount of time available it will be greatly welcomed.
Events organised by the PTA in the recent past include the following:
Summer Fete, Christmas Bazaar, Quiz/Movie Night, Children’s Inflatable Afternoon and Fashion Show, Circus, Pamper evening and more.
Events funded by the PTA include the following:
Playground sails, Playground markings, Adventure Playground, New Books, Theatre/Panto Trips, Kids Christmas Parties, Whiteboards/Teaching aids, Presents for Year 6 Leavers, Easter Bunny visits and Easter Eggs for the children, Football Goals and Football jackets, Pupil Achievement Awards, Sports Day Medals, Celebratory Ice Creams, Music Storage System, District Sports T Shirts, O2 Choir T Shirts and subsidised school trips.
We feel confident you will agree that all of the above help to provide the best possible environment, education and surroundings for the children at our school.
The PTA is extremely conscious of the ethos and morals of our school, and we try
very hard when organising and planning events to respect this. Not all of our
events are run as fundraisers. Our children’s Christmas parties and Theatre trips are run with the aim of giving the children a good time and as a way of thanking families for their continued support for the PTA.
Why are we a registered charity?
The Charities Act 1993 requires organisations such as ours with an annual income
in excess of £1,000 to register with the Charity Commission. As a Charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a constitution. Our constitution sets out rules about how we operate as a PTA and how we conduct ourselves.
Links with our local community
We have, over time, developed strong links with the local community and are always well supported by both residents and businesses, for which we are very grateful. Many of our local shops are very generous in their donations of raffle prizes, etc.
Role of the PTA committee
Our PTA committee consists of 4 Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary). We also have 9 other ordinary committee members/parent representatives and 2/3 Teacher representatives making up the full committee. The Committee meets on a regular basis, usually once or twice per half term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary to organise larger, more complicated events.
Annual general meeting (AGM)
Our Annual General Meeting is held at school in September each year and this is an opportunity for all parents to come along and hear in more detail about events run, funds raised and how the money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new committee.
Charity matched giving
Charity Matched Giving is a very simple practice run by many businesses. Under such schemes, companies or businesses pledge to donate to a charity an amount of money relating to an event where one of their employees was instrumental in a fundraising activity for a recognised charity (such as our PTA).
In the past, we were very fortunate to benefit from the following donations under corporate ‘Charity Matched Giving’ Schemes
In each case the parents/employees listed helped to raise amounts equal to or in excess of that quoted above and their companies ‘matched’ the fundraising by their employees by contributing ‘matching payments’ equal to the amounts quoted.
Many employers operate charity-matching schemes where the company will match an amount raised through the efforts of their employees at a charitable event. Such companies include (list is not exhaustive): Woolwich plc, Lloyds TSB, Alliance & Leicester, HSBC, Abbey, BAA plc, Barclays, Boots plc, BT plc, Debenhams, Marks & Spenser, J Sainsbury plc, Tesco plc, NatWest Group, WH Smiths, TOTAL Oil Marine plc, Littlewoods plc, Jaguar Cars Ltd, Peugeot Motor Company.
If your company operates charity matching there are several benefits to both us and the company involved: Employees’ morale is boosted by having their efforts supported by their employer, the company benefits from having charitable donations written off against taxable profits, the company can endeavour to get publicity for their giving.
If you think that your employer has a matched giving scheme already in operation,
or if you would like some more information about charity matched giving or setting
up a scheme in your workplace, please talk to one of the PTA committee (note: this could apply to grandparents, other family members or friends as well as parents).
How we spend the money we raise
Once money is raised from events, the funds are banked straight away. It is at our PTA committee meetings that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed. Usually, our Headteacher will have a ‘wish list’ of items that the school would like to purchase. In the main, the PTA funds are for ‘extras’ not provided by the school budget that make our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting. PTA funds are not generally spent on improving the fabric of the school building, as this is the responsibility of the school Governing Body. Our Constitution commits the PTA to spending money on things that will benefit the children directly.
We always endeavour to spend our funds in ways that will benefit all our children across all areas of the school and curriculum.
How we get information to you
We frequently send out information via SchoolPing, that includes information on forthcoming events and dates plus requests for assistance when we are planning large events, as well as any PTA newsletters.
How you can get involved
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the PTA. Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable – it really is a case of ‘many hands make light work’. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you can’t come into school. There are always little jobs that can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare, e.g. wrapping gifts, preparing raffle tickets etc. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the unseen ‘army of help’ that exists in school. You can also become a friend of the PTA or a class representative and be added to our list of helpers available to assist at fundraising events, like manning a stall at our summer & Christmas fayres. You can, of course, if you feel able, volunteer to be a Committee Member. Or you can simply support the AGM and give us your ideas for fundraising events - this is also the time to ask questions or voice your opinion.
You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use - everything is potentially valuable to us. There is a brief questionnaire at the back of the booklet to fill in and return if you are able to help in any way, no matter how small.
Thank you for taking the time to read our information. We hope you now know a little more about your Parent Teacher Association. On behalf of all the children, we would like to thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experiences and makes their time in school so enjoyable. Together we will make a difference.
Click on the icon below to download our form to become a member of the PTA Comittee/Friend of the PTA/ Class Representative.