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To think the PTA are being a bit high handed?

(57 Posts)
nothingcomestonothing Tue 08-Jul-14 20:38:59

Today DD (aged 5, in reception) brought home a paper bag, with a typed note stuck on it saying 'please fill this bag with goodies - sweets, toys etc - for us to sell at the school fete this weekend, thanks the PTA'. Tonight I got an email from the school entitled 'cake sale' which read 'tomorrow your child will be bringing home a plate each. Please fill it and return to school by Friday for the fete, thanks the PTA'.

I'm a working lone parent to two DCs with additional needs, I haven't got the spare time to be baking cakes or the spare money to be buying cakes, sweets or whatever else to fill paper bags with. Plus I do my food shop on a Friday when I finish work earlier, and haven't got a load of stuff in to give them now anyway. AIBU to be annoyed at these pretty last minute demands? The date of the fete has been booked for weeks, with notice I could have got together some bits of sweets, or bought some cheap buns and iced them myself or something, but it'll be a PITA to get them together now and DD will be very stressed if she thinks she's supposed to bring something to school and she hasn't got it. Is this normal? DD is my eldest so I don't really know.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 08-Jul-14 20:41:21

just ignore. if they say anything, say not enough notice.

next time, if they give notice, sorry it is an expensive month this month...

Nanny0gg Tue 08-Jul-14 20:41:29


That is no way to ask for goods or help. All they will do is alienate the parents.

They might want to re-phrase their notes.

Suttonmum1 Tue 08-Jul-14 20:42:43

Yes this is normal. you will know for next year. if they sent stuff out earlier everyone would forget. no one expects everyone to do this stuff and no one is checking who does and doesn't contribute.

If you want things done differently then volunteer to help and suggest something else.

FryOneFatManic Tue 08-Jul-14 20:42:46

They should have informed parents in advance that this is what they were going to do.

I certainly would have done, and I'm a chairman of a PTA. And would have certainly worded the request more politely. If it's worded as you have written, it sounds a tad demanding.

kelper Tue 08-Jul-14 20:43:59

That sounds rubbish. Our PTA asks for cakes, doesn't send plates home, and they have a non uniform day around easter, and instead of a money donation they ask for something to be donated for the tombola.
Much better, and you don't feel so pressurised

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 08-Jul-14 20:45:30

Sounds pretty normal to me...

Namechangearoonie123 Tue 08-Jul-14 20:45:46

Ah bollovks. If you've known for months when it was you could have got sweets/ cakes in.

It's not a surprise they're going to ask, is it hmm

Fine to not want to do it, but don't use short notice as an excuse when you also know when it is.

clairemum22 Tue 08-Jul-14 20:47:28

You could always join the PTA and help them do things better next year? I'm sure your PTA is there to organise events which your DC enjoy and help raise funds which will be used to benefit the school. Don't help if you don't want to, but its a good job some people do... i know its your first child in the school, and it is short notice but I'm sure you could have guessed that parents would be asked to contribute to the fete. what do you expect them to sell?

whattheseithakasmean Tue 08-Jul-14 20:50:07

Really,don't sweat it. I have been through the primary school years and this stuff really does not matter, just ignore and do not give it a second thought.

In my earlier naivete, I have done a PTA stint & it was small minded bitchy hell. Most parents don't bother and I think they have the right idea. I decided to become one of them & life became so much simpler.

littleblackno Tue 08-Jul-14 20:50:13

Sounds pretty normal to be asked for donations to the fayre but usually you get some notice. We get sent a 'timetable' a few weeks before.
nothing bad will happen if you don't send anything in and I doubt your dd will notice too much.

skinnyamericano Tue 08-Jul-14 20:52:09

Her DD is in reception so she wouldn't have known what was coming.

Under 50% of parents will contribute OP, so don't panic if you can't manage this time. Perhaps next time you could offer an hour to help or get some sweets in?

clairemum22 Tue 08-Jul-14 20:52:31

Whattheseithakasmean - do you think the school would be better without a PTA then? I think it seems a shame.

Nicknacky Tue 08-Jul-14 20:54:05

Do people really expect their children to come home with a bag to be filled for the fete? I certainly wouldn't.

Donate a bottle, or a unwanted gift yes, but not a bag full of goodies.

It sounds like the op has enough on her plate (pardon the pun) without joining the PTA too!

smallandimperfectlyformed Tue 08-Jul-14 20:54:33

I'm not suggesting you join the PTA, it sounds like you're busy enough as it is!

smallandimperfectlyformed Tue 08-Jul-14 20:55:14

Crossposted with Nicknacky!

MrsBungle Tue 08-Jul-14 20:55:38

Our PTA do this too. We have to fill costa coffee cups with party bag type things to sell at the fete. We has to give a bottle for the raffle at the fete and loads of other stuff throughout the year. When I remember and have got time I do it, other times I don't.

ElephantsNeverForgive Tue 08-Jul-14 20:57:59

We did the same for the Christmas Fayre, pretty much a request a day. I hated doing it (I was flyer designer/printer), but it worked.

More quests a long time in advance just end up in people's to do piles. Constant nagging was the only way we got enough stuff to put in a decent show.

You are absolutely not expected to answer every demand, the odd bottle of cheap kids pop for the non alcoholic kids tom-bola, is every bit as appreciated as a bottle of wine. A few crispy cakes as much as a posh fruit cake.

Or simply come along for 1/2 an hour and get your face painted (don't stay any longer, it gets very expensive, believe me if you run a stall you pay!)

nothingcomestonothing Tue 08-Jul-14 20:59:08

Alright, some think IABU some I'm not!

I really didn't know I was going to be asked to provided sweets and cakes this week - I might be naïve, but it's my first experience of this stuff, we didn't get asked to do this for the xmas fete so it was a surprise to me. And as much as I actually do appreciate what the PTA does, as the only parent of a 5 and a 2 year old, I an no use to the PTA - I can't attend meetings, I'm either at work or have the DC, ditto staffing events, etc. I'm not criticising the people who do get off their arses to help, but criticising how they've gone about things.

I am okay with not sending anything, it's more that DD will be stressed to go to school and not bring something she's supposed to bring, she's extremely invested in being 'good' and doing the right thing at school. That's another thread though.

SisterMoonshine Tue 08-Jul-14 21:00:46

Well now you know: when the Fayre is looming this is what is going to be asked. You'll have more notice from now on now that you know.

DustWitch Tue 08-Jul-14 21:06:46

Yanbu OP, I'd feel cross at this.

Our PTA put up posters and send out letters asking for donations. That's enough IMO. Those that can and want to donate do, no need to guilt trip those who simply don't have the time or the money!

nancy75 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:07:06

Some of the anti PTA stuff on mumsnet really gets my goat. I take it all those people that won't help or donate also stop their children using the computers/books/equipment bought from money raised by the PTA?

teeththief Tue 08-Jul-14 21:09:22

You need a box! I have a box full of crap or duplicate birthday presents just for occassions like these or last minute birthday invites. If I see things in charity shops or pound shops that are good for fete donations then they go in 'the box'.

You're just a beginner, nobody will notice if you don't donate anything I promise!

kslatts Tue 08-Jul-14 21:10:15

I would just use the bag as an excuse to get rid of some things we don't needs, some toiletries I had been given or soft toys as we seemed to have hundreds when dd's were young. Or you could ask your dd to donate a toy she no longer plays with as long as it's in good condition.

For the cakes I would buy these and decorate with anything I had in the cupboard.

I think YABU, I work full time and have 2 dd's but have offered to help with fundraising before, I'm sure the members of the PTA have busy lives but give up their time to organise these events, it doesn't seem like they are asking for that much.

Nicknacky Tue 08-Jul-14 21:14:52

I don't mind donating but I would be put out at a demand for baking and sweeties at a few days notice. You need to give a week for that.

And yep, my daughter most likely uses the computers etc that have been bought with PTA funds.? And I have no intention of helping out!

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