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To ask your opinions on new PTA in September

(38 Posts)
CreakyBra Mon 25-Jul-11 09:30:25

Following on from the other PTA thread in AIBU, look's like I will be taking over as Chair of our PTA in September. I have been Secretary for the last two years. Our PTA is made up of, say, 10 people who regularly come to the termly meetings and another 15 or so people who can be relied upon to help out at events. We are not 'cliquey' - some are friends, some are not.

So, I've come up with some ideas in order to help raise more funds and breathe new life into the PTA.

In addition to the usual Summer and Christmas Fairs, cake sales, refreshments etc I wondered whether to introduce these events:-

Coffee morning for new and old Parents in September
Quiz night (adult only)
Family bingo night
Kids film night
Spring Fair ? after school?

Your opinions and experiences, good or bad, would be gratefully received smile

bigscarymum Mon 25-Jul-11 09:37:13

Watching with interest as we need new ideas. Things that have worked for us:
Quiz (v v popular - with fish & chips or curry in the middle of it)
Posh (ish) ball
Summer family BBQ
Spring fair
Ladies appearing evening

Things that haven't worked:
Cocktail night (too expensive & fiddly)
New parents coffee morning (too much apathy, see your other thread about people not wanting to get involved).

I'm sure there are other things - will think about it.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Jul-11 09:46:55

For film night you need a licence, its only worth it if a large school.

I'd personally make the bingo night adults only and change the quiz to a family one.

Itsjustafleshwound Mon 25-Jul-11 09:46:55

What type of school is it?? Where is it?

I have put my oar in at our infant school PTA :

- Evening/parent only evening events are a non-starter: babysitting issues and fact that parents don't really want to socialise with other parents.
- Cake sales: successful but can't have too many and need to sell the produce at a reasonable price. With the cost of things the way they are, there is resentment selling cupcakes for paltry amounts!!!
- If possible to have the fairs or events after school: there is a captive audience though asking paents for help gets tricky.

celeriac Mon 25-Jul-11 09:52:16

I quite like the idea of a Coffee Morning.

Discos are always popular 'Burger & a Boogie' evenings!

Beetle Drives are enjoyed by the children.

You can organise the children to design their own christmas cards & then parents can order how many they want - lots of companies online where you can get these printed.

Second hand toy & book sale, items donated by parents & then sold at event for a reasonable price. A good time of year to do this is October/November as people clear out their toy boxes in time for Christmas.

fourthattempt Mon 25-Jul-11 09:53:03


pooka Mon 25-Jul-11 09:56:17

We sell ice lollies in the playground every Friday in summer term (unless is pouring down).

Race night made quite good money. Quiz night never got off the ground. Film night ran at a slight loss. Fashion show made some money.

CreakyBra Mon 25-Jul-11 09:56:54

Happy thanks for that tip - didn't realise you need a licence - it that for DVDs and steaming off internet?

Itsjust It's a small one class per year prinmary school in the north. A wide demographic of people. We held a ceilidh night in January which was fairly well attended albeit not a great money-maker.

celeriac - I'm dozy - what's a Beetle Drive?

welshbyrd Mon 25-Jul-11 10:00:37

The bingo is fantastic, our school does a family Easter Bingo and Christmas bingo, we have done this the last 3 years, and every year the hall has been brimming with mums/dads/grandparents and pupils, to the point its been difficult to find seats.
It has been a complete success.
A week or 2 before the event, send a letter out asking for donations for Easter eggs/gifts etc for the prizes
We charged £1 for one book -£12 for 12 books, we also did a raffle, and sold some of the pupils Easter cards/Christmas cards they made, on the same night
I really would highly recommend Easter/Christmas bingo.
Goodluck for September
Would love to hear how it went, if you decided to do it.

welshbyrd Mon 25-Jul-11 10:02:59

I also think pooka's 'sell ice lollies in the playground every Friday in summer term (unless is pouring down).' is a fantastic idea

celeriac Mon 25-Jul-11 10:06:20

A beetle drive is a fun way to fundraise. Everyone has their own beetle card and you play a series of games over the evening. You sit on tables of 4 people and take turns to throw a dice. You have to throw a 6 to start, to get the body of the beetle and then you draw on the body parts as you throw the correct numbers. There is 1 head, 2 eyes, 2 wings, 2 antennae, 4 legs.

The first person to throw all the numbers and draw their beetle shouts and this stops play. The closest person on each table to a complete beetle then moves 'up' a table. At the end of the evening all the scores are added up to find the winners. As the tables are constantly changing, you get the opportunity to sit next to different people throughout the evening.

You can serve refreshments, or hold a raffle and normally you charge a set amount on entry to receive your beetle playing card for the evening.

MotherOfSuburbia Mon 25-Jul-11 10:09:38

Quiz nights are fab - highlight of our PTA year - as long as you have a fun, charismatic quizmaster!

Class reps do coffee mornings each term for our infant classes.

We do a new parents tea about a week into term straight after school. A few activities for the kids and tea and cake for parents - it's a really nice event.
Film nights cost a fair amount to run. We did a couple but didn't really make any money so you'd have to weigh up the costs.

Each class has a cake sale on a friday in the summer term - we have a prize for the class who sells the most.

We do a family bbq at the end of the year which is non-profit making. We have a band and are usually packed out. Has a great sense of community.

JUst make sure you space your events out so people don't get 'helping fatigue' and make sure people feel that they are valued.


hifi Mon 25-Jul-11 10:33:38

a licence is only £21.00 from our borough.
we hire the local odeon cinema on a sunday morning,£300, with the sale of tickets and the goodie bags we make about £500
school disco makes around £800, we sell alcohol,soft drinks popcorn
we made £9000 last term with our auction of promises
cake sale once a month, between 120 and 180
we are a large school and our summer fair makes around £8000, plants, booze and bbq take the most. we also have tatoos,nail painting,hair spraying, face painting which takes loads. the international food stall is always popular.
we ensure we have a balance of fund raising and community events.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Jul-11 10:49:39

Hifi, do you get yours direct from the council then re film licence?

When we looked into this before it was at least 75 but being a village school its a lot for us.

CreakyBra Mon 25-Jul-11 10:50:39

My word hifi that is serious fundraising - makes ours seem rather pathetic - we raise about £ 5000 a YEAR! Really impressed through. Where did you get the prizes for the Auction of Promises?

Love the idea of hiring your local cinema - I don't think that people would support it our school so was thinking in the school hall one Friday and serve drinks popcorn etc.

Welshbyrd where do you get all the 'stuff' for bingo - can you hire it or buy it?

muminthemiddle Mon 25-Jul-11 10:58:44

I can't remember the name of the company-something like bags2school. All you do is give all children (and staff) a bag supplied by the company and they fill it with unwanted clothing etc and when the company take them away you get paid.

Hold an Easter egg raffel.

bodyshop/virgin vie parties held in the village hall always went well.

hifi Mon 25-Jul-11 11:04:53

licence is a temporary events notice, TENS, go to your local council web site
the auction is anauction of promises, people offer to babysit, bake cakes for a celebration, cook a meal for 4 up for an evening, gardening,de cluttering,c v writting, loads of stuff that anyone can do. the babysitting tends to go for around £25.also people offer holiday homes/camper vans.local artists donate art work, we also have loads of items donated from parents places of work,sports equipment. a great one this year was a day at the stock exchange.

Pelagia Mon 25-Jul-11 11:16:46

Our school does Bags2School - as a parent I love it - I can support the school but its not costing me anything. I do want to help school but I don't have bottomless pockets and hate to be the baddie whose children can't go to the magic show/have a lolly etc etc.

tralalala Mon 25-Jul-11 11:33:09

what's bags2school?

CreakyBra Mon 25-Jul-11 11:40:28


Don't know much about it though. Is it a lot of effort once people have returned the bags? Our School doesn't have a lot of spare space and don't think they'd be happy storing them until they were collected.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 25-Jul-11 11:41:40

I second the bags2school, its a great way of having a frequent clearout and raises funds with no outlay. If you schedule for 3 or 4 times a year and publish the dates parents know when to expect the request - if you can do one very late in term people can put all the outgrown uniform in.

Thanks hifi re film licence, thats lots cheaper than we were quoted so i'll have a nosy later.

Thruaglassdarkly Mon 25-Jul-11 11:52:19

In addition to some of the ideas on here already, we also do wrapping rooms for Christmas gifts, Mother's/Father's Day too. The PTA buy suitable gifts for around a pound and then charge £1.50 for the kids to select a gift, go to the art room and wrap it. Practically the whole school take part so it raises quite a bit of profit and they have a nice little gift to give too.

There was a summer camp out this year. Families paid to pitch their tents in the school field. Sold burgers, BBQ foods etc and made profit on that too. Went really well.

Another PTA biggie is Bonfire Night. Big fireworks display, attended by people from all over the area, fairground rides, sale of light sticks, hot food etc etc...


MumblingRagDoll Mon 25-Jul-11 12:00:26

Spring fair could be May Fair with a May Queen and King and a maypole....ours was VERY popular in the village as many people said this was the first May celebration they'd seen for years.

It was gorgreous and we had a cake stall and a raffle.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 25-Jul-11 12:08:20

Kids film nights do big money for our PTA, as does the summer bbq (£6 per adult, food on top - but it's a fab night with tonnes of free entertainment!), bags2school, and quizz nights. The Adults Summer Ball is normally the biggest event of the year but not nec the most profitable as it's expensive to stage and this year had to be cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Sign of the times thought frankly. They hire a posh local venue for a sit down meal and dancing, and do a deal with the local hotel too. Tickest are £40 per person and the rooms £50 per couple. It's very good value overall but too many people are feeling the pinch this year to spend £130 (plus babysitter) on a night out.

CreakyBra Mon 25-Jul-11 12:37:28

Love the idea of a Summer Ball, Sparkle but there's no way Parents at our school could afford that - people moaned when we put the entrance to the Summer Fair up to 50p per adult! Summer BBQ sounds great too.

I feel that although PTA is there to raise funds it also about the school as a community and including as many people as possible hence Quiz or Bingo Nights - not much cost involved and BYO alcohol.

These are all great ideas - thanks - think our PTA was on a merry-go-round of the same events each year which people probably get bored with.

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