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To think the PTA should accept offers of help before complaining that nobody has offered to help

(23 Posts)
manchestermummy Fri 05-Dec-14 13:42:15

As above.

School Christmas nightmare Fair this afternoon. PTA appealed for help via their FB page; I responded positively. They said they would let me know. The following day the committee were talking in very audible tones about how they had no help and people were refusing to get involved.

I offered to help. They said thank you. No word since. I can't be bothered asking if they do need my help.

I have spoken to other parents who have tried to infiltrate 'open' meetings of the clique PTA and who were completely blanked.

AIBU to think that you accept the help when you have made it clear there is an urgent, fair might not go ahead type of need?

Zucker Fri 05-Dec-14 13:45:48

I've come across this too, its very odd. Offer my services, make myself available, turn up when asked and blanked! Same as you, I then hear the snide comments that NO ONE EVER wants to help the pta and it's the same people all the time.

Well if you didn't limit the pta to your BFF's you may solve your problem.

mumonashoestring Fri 05-Dec-14 13:46:36

YANBU - I'm involved with a committee who (dis)organise some similar events and have had a few instances of this. I've found the only way to sort it is to publically call them on it and point out that they've had offers of help that they haven't responded to/acknowledged and perhaps that would be a more constructive use of their time than grousing that everyone hasn't fallen over themselves to beg to be involved.

manchestermummy Fri 05-Dec-14 13:52:25

I've helped at events before so it's not like I'm a complete interloper. I wonder if it's because I once said I wasn't able to man the bbq in the driving rain with a toddler plus five year old in tow?

smokinggnu Fri 05-Dec-14 13:59:04

I'd ask one of them very clearly if there was a communication problem as you had offered to help and have been surprised to not have a response AND to find that there isn't enough available. Then move on to asking for a different / clearer communication channel.
A few PTA members at school are very much the passive aggressive 'more invested in parenting than thou'. I feel for the teachers / headteachers who then have to pick up the fallout from their cliques. I've offered to help out at a school PTA event and been told, as I was new, I wouldn't really know what to do.
They now avoid me because I responded with a laughing ('i thought they must be joking), "no i am not psychic. I'd expect some sort of list perhaps".
Quite glad they avoid me and I quietly volunteered to support in classroom time, directly. PTA be screwed.

Hoppinggreen Fri 05-Dec-14 14:04:12

When DD started Primary I went to a PTA meeting and quite a few new parents who were there offered to help ( myself included). We were all ignored/dismissed and then the PTA closed down due to " lack of support"
Bloody ridiculous!

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 05-Dec-14 14:05:04

It may not be intentional, some people get on committees and they're just kind of rubbish at managing, logistics, planning and communication. They don't seem to think about the fact they need to manage volunteers, not just put a call out for help and watch it all happen around them.

SaucyJack Fri 05-Dec-14 14:07:05

Don't even go there girlfriend.

I had the same experience as the PP. I turned up to several meetings after they begged parents to help, and just sat there like a bloody lemon whilst they talked over my head.

tobysmum77 Fri 05-Dec-14 14:31:50


who are these people?

FryOneFatManic Fri 05-Dec-14 14:47:16

I'm Chair of a PTA and if you offered your help to me, I'd be practically biting your hand off! grin

Our committee is struggling with a lack of support from parents, and I would be sooooo happy for even a couple of new faces to spread the load.

At one event I received 4 email addresses of parents expressing an interest in the group, and after emailing them all personally, only one person has actually joined.

I even put down that I'd be happy just to have them on a list to help at events, if they didn't want to be on the main committee.

PTAs that turn into cliques don't do anyone any favours, we should be open to all.

Noddingdog Fri 05-Dec-14 15:00:22

Same here as OP - I've offered to help several times but am never taken up on it, followed by moans from PTA that no-one else ever helps. I won't be offering again but will be quick to loudly point out all the times I have offered, if they mention it again. I feel oddly reassured that it's not just me.

redskybynight Fri 05-Dec-14 15:37:44

Are you sure they didn't mean "hardly any" rather than "no" help? When is the event, I wouldn't expect them to get back to you until just before it probably.

RaisingSteam Fri 05-Dec-14 15:41:23

Er: probably the person who manages the FB page and replied to you isn't the same people you overheard.

LL12 Fri 05-Dec-14 15:52:25

I offered to help the pta in setting up the Christmas fair in my daughters infant school, I was ignored except by only 1 other mum, expected to be able to read their minds as to what to do, had posters etc that I had put up taken down and rearranged and never got so much as goodbye and thank you.

Now in the middle school I just help with things at lunchtime and most of the mums are very nice and it can be good fun, but I will not help with summer/Christmas fair's again.

chirrza Fri 05-Dec-14 17:03:24

I think sometimes they're a bit disorganised so you could just send a quick email saying, do you need my help. They might well have counted you in the numbers but not told you what you're meant to be doing.

Our current school has a lovely PTA. The two previous ones were dreadful. The behavoiur of some on the committee actively put people off volunteering twice.

But in your case I think they're probably a bit disorganised is all. Give them a prod.

NotYouNaanBread Fri 05-Dec-14 17:12:30

Yep. Same here.

"We need help for the bazaar!"

"I'll help - what can I do?"


They haven't had a chair all year & they wonder why.

manchestermummy Fri 05-Dec-14 17:30:57

Event was today and I even went back to the page to make sure I hadn't missed any response.

I am pretty sure btw that the person I overheard look after the fb page.

Glad it isn't just me!

Ohmygrood Fri 05-Dec-14 17:34:02

The PTA martyrs.

HappyAgainOneDay Fri 05-Dec-14 19:45:57

I was on a PTA once and volunteers were welcome(d). We had fetes, barn dances, and collected enough money to build a swimming pool later used by the local community as well.

I had to stop because my XH didn't like my having an interest outside home and didn't like my driving our only car without him. I've since heard that he doesn't like his now wife driving his care without him .....

When we meet at a gathering (20 years after divorce), he still talks to me as if I'm his wife. He gets nowhere though and I love it!

Aethelfleda Fri 05-Dec-14 20:07:17

It's a combination of personalities, time, and own lives/needs.
I help at events but am profoundly grateful for the so-called clique who run our events as I just can't commit the hours and hours I'd need to be running it myself (and I have done more in the past so I do know how much work it can be).

They seem happy to have me...but clearly this isn't the case for every PTA. All you can do is offer your support, and if they are not appreciative work out another way to help the school. If that just means coming to events and spending cash, fine!!

popperdoodles Fri 05-Dec-14 20:16:30

seems a common theme. when ds1 first started school I signed up to help as first opportunity. arrived and ran the stall I was allocated to but not one pta member spoke to me or even said thanks. never volunteered since and never will

LittleMisslikestobebythesea Fri 05-Dec-14 20:16:56

I'm also chair and we had a fair today, so I panicked for a minute there, but we aren't on Facebook.

We had a couple of volunteers to help and I text them straight away, without them the fair wouldn't go ahead!

FannyBlott Fri 05-Dec-14 21:54:05

I was going to join the PTA and gave my email address and helped out at a cake sale over the summer, some of the others were lovely but I'm quite a bit younger and poorer than the average parent where I live and got so many "Do you actually have a child at the school? You don't look old enough" sort of comments, I also got talked down to like I was a child and I just felt like nobody would want me on the PTA anyway.
I don't mind helping at the odd event but there's just no way I'd feel comfortable sitting through a meeting. They keep sending emails saying they won't be able to continue without any more support but I felt so out of place I don't think I can do it.

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