Advanced search admitting I'm sick of the PTA ?

(116 Posts)
runningonthespot Tue 23-Jun-09 10:04:06

Yes every school needs them and I certainly do my bit to help out with a bit of time, a bit of home baking for fairs, and a bit of money etc BUT does anyone else have the experience that some of them - and I really don't mean all of them - are in it for the wrong reasons. Like getting favours for their kids or brownie points for being martyrs? Just a thought...

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Tue 23-Jun-09 10:09:50


part of the reason I did it was becuase it helped me find out how ds3 (SN) was really coping (not at all) becuase I was in school a lot

Mostly it was good reasons but absolutely ulterior motiv4es also- fair enough IMO

We ahd a lot of fun though and I miss it (DS3 now in SNU) so I dont think tehre was a martyr aspect there- can think of one woman who did though.

But you know, it needs doping and mroe ahnds make lighter worrk (usually0 so you take all comers and are glad for it

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 23-Jun-09 10:15:11

No. That is not my experience. Most of us do it to raise money for the school. We like to contribute, which doesn't make us martyrs. And as for getting favours for our kids, I have honestly NEVER seen that happen. What kind of favours do you mean?

Ripeberry Tue 23-Jun-09 10:16:04

I'm on a pre-school committee at the moment and i will NOT be going to the PTA! Don't care how much they beg, committee work has put me right off, but it has been a horrid year so fa:

In October we almost had to close as no-one wanted to be Chairman

In January our pre-school leader went off sick for almost 6 weeks (her and her kids sickness), cost us a fortune in replacement grade 3s)

Said pre-school leader resigned over Easter holidays so we only had 2 weeks to find a replacement.

Found out that said leader had done nothing! Lots of paperwork to sort out and i ended up doing all the policies by myself (not too bad, but lots of late nights).

Had to increase fees as parents were not volunteering and then they complained!

Can't wait for September when i can leave for good as my DD2 is going to reception and i've done my 4yr stint on the committee!

gingernutlover Tue 23-Jun-09 10:19:07

what makes you think kids with parents on the PTA get brownie points or favours? From who?

You might be right but I don't really understand what you are getting at

LilTulip Tue 23-Jun-09 10:22:24

There is one mum at DC's school who is totally in in for the wrong reasons. She seems to spend all her time in school, PTA, Friends, Classrom assistant attending all trips, etc. And if she doesn't like the school rules she makes up her own. She loves brown nosing the teachers and school governers and thinks she is way too important.
She likes to come across as a martyr.
When in truth she is a very nasty person who terrorises her neighbours to the point some have moved out and others are looking to do so, and also complaints have been made to the police because of her behaviour.

I tend do do as you do Runnning, Do what i have to and stay well out of it.

springlamb Tue 23-Jun-09 10:23:15

Well I don't like the PTA at dd's school. I find them very scary - I simply follow their instructions to the letter and hope for the best. They've sent out two conflicting letters re contributions for the school fete - one asking for cakes, one for wine. I shall both in on Friday lest I incur the wrath of The Tall One.

However, IME as a school governor, most parents/carers involved with a school are keen to see that their children do NOT benefit in any way from this. It would be mega-embarrassing. I am very careful that ds is not selected for events/picked for the 'good bits'/treated any differently. He has recently been referred for some counselling for which there is a six month wait and I was horrified when one of his teachers suggested I could 'use my position here' to put pressure on. I think she left our meeting rather shamefaced.

Sometimes I go to school as a governor, most times I go as a parent. I dress and act differently for each and announce to the office which hat I have on. (And sometimes I deliberately don't pay the dinner money on time so I get a 'naughty' letter.)

springlamb Tue 23-Jun-09 10:24:49

Which reminds me, I owe them £180 school journey money.

spokette Tue 23-Jun-09 10:25:33


It is very easy to knock the volunteers who willingly give up their time and resources to do something that benefits all the children, including your own, in the school.

If your school did not receive the play equipment, interactive screens, books, sport equipment etc that the PTA provides as well as the discos, fetes, etc that the PTA organise, you would soon complain.

It is too easy and smug to criticise but volunteering your time takes effort, is self-less and rewarding for the school as well as yourself.

LilTulip Tue 23-Jun-09 10:27:01

* To do as you do* .....There were too many "do's" In that sentence!!!!

BonsoirAnna Tue 23-Jun-09 10:27:51

I agree with the OP!

I have given a lot of time and energy to our school Parents' Association this year. And I recently realised that I was getting intensely annoyed with the people running the committee, who seem to think that (a) the PA is a social club (b) the parent reps are their skivvies. Grrrrrrr.

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jun-09 10:29:05

"in it for the wrong reasons. Like getting favours for their kids or brownie points for being martyrs"

You're utterly clueless really aren't you? Being on the PTA makes f-all difference wrt "brownie points" and "favours".

BonsoirAnna Tue 23-Jun-09 10:31:11

I think that's unfair, SoupDragon. There have been definite "issues" with the PA committee being in there for that kind of reason (with, sadly, quite a bit of success) in the past.

LilTulip Tue 23-Jun-09 10:31:26

Running did not meam ALL PTA members, but a select few.

The PTA, do a fantastic job at our school and the kids have great benefits for it but not everyone does it for the right reasons.

happywomble Tue 23-Jun-09 10:37:44

YABU - Some of us put hours of time in doing stuff for the PTA. At my DCs school it isn't just the stuff to raise money it is providing refreshments at sports day and other occasions etc.

I think most people get involved to do their bit for the school community, raise money for better facilities at school and get to know other mums.

If you don't like the way your school PTA is run join it and make suggestions for change.

How would you feel if you spent hours doing stuff for the school and read your OP..a bit flat maybe.

No Head worth their salt is going to give any favouritism for the children of PTA members.

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jun-09 10:41:46

[shrug] I don't think my comment is unfair at all.

spokette Tue 23-Jun-09 10:44:20

I'm not on the PTA but I help out all the time and guess what? It is always the same few parents who are prepared to do anything whilst the naysayers just sit back and moan about everything whilst doing nothing.

If you want to make a difference, get involved instead of whinging about it. No organisation is perfect and nobody is perfect. If you want perfect bodies to run your PTA, you will be on your own I'm afraid because other than you, nobody will come up to scratch.hmm

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 23-Jun-09 10:44:34

I agree with Soupy.

BonsoirAnna Tue 23-Jun-09 10:46:35

Like I said, I have been both very involved (in all kinds of ways) and very disillusioned with our PA this year. And I cannot "join and make a difference" as our PA is elected for three years and I wasn't eligible for election last time!

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jun-09 10:48:21

I've been PTAing for around 5 years and all I've got out of it is a load of hard work and hassle and had to listen to a load sh*t spouted by whingers.

I'm fairly certain it hasn't helped DS2 or DD gain a place in the school, it's certainly not made anyone overlook dodgy behaviour from my children or let them off stuff, they've not got preferential treatment and I haven't amassed a score of points. I do get a small sense of having done something "good" when I see the amount of money raised but I'm "in it" because no one else will do it and that's also the attitude from the rest of the PTA. There are certainly no perks to be had. Unless you count a good spot to watch the fireworks from because you've got a high-vis vest on as a fire marshall and get to stand in front of the barrier.

ComeOVeneer Tue 23-Jun-09 10:48:34

As chair of the PTA I can assure you we don't get any favours. Hell my son didn't even get a place at the school that his sister is at and I am chair of!

I can honestly say that all of the committee are there purely to raise much needed funds foir the school and nothing else.

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jun-09 10:50:06

<<weeps with laughter at "elected">> Clearly this is a different breed of PTA we're talking about

Having talked to a friend with children at private schools, there seems to be more of an element of cliquiness but at the state schools, there are rarely enough volunteers for that kind of nonsense.

ComeOVeneer Tue 23-Jun-09 10:50:38

And as Soupy said, invariable you and your children actually miss out on stuff because at the events you are so busy running the damn thing you don't get to /partake/enjoy it.

If more people helped out the tasks could be shared meaning less work for each individual and therefore everyone could enjoy.

BonsoirAnna Tue 23-Jun-09 10:52:15

Our PA has an AGM at the beginning of every school year where it presents the accounts and talks about activities for the coming year. Elections happen (normally) every three years. All parents present at the AGM vote - there were several hundred parents present last year. Afterwards there is a cocktail.

andiem Tue 23-Jun-09 10:52:38

being on the psa committee at our school definitely doesn't do your child any favours

I really don't get why so many people on mn are so negative about psa committees if you don't like them what does it matter as long as your child benefits from what they do
Their personal reasons for doing it won't necessarily impinge on their ability to fundraise

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