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PTA - if you are part of a good one, can you give me tips?

(20 Posts)
velcrobott Sun 20-Mar-05 18:28:00

My DS's primary school is having a last ditch attempt at saving its PTA.
The chair has resigned and there really isn't anyone on it.... so I am going to their meeting tomorrow and would consider going on it but need to know more...
Are teachers always part of it ? They weren't in ours....
Is it mainly fund raising? What are your best ideas for fund raising (besides schools fetes and discos)... the school has a strong attendance from our local council estate (in fact the majority of children are loving there) but it is a small school and there is an OK atmsophere so there is hope yet I think....
The last PTA was chaired by the headmistress' childminder and as the HM has her fair amount of detractors, the fact that she was so close to her didn't help her popularity (I hear).. DS has only been at that school since Sept. so am NO expert !
Thanks for any tips... I am a novice !

jampots Sun 20-Mar-05 18:34:12

I chaired our PTA for 3 years velcrobott and during that time we only did fundraising and helping the school out at things like "new parents evenings" etc.

Teachers tended to come along to meetings only when they wanted something to be honest but some did hold stalls at summer/xmas fayres. The reason that they didnt come to meetings was that they had been at work all day ! which of course accounted for most of the committee members. The Head did invariably show for the meetings though so some school-side support. We held a quiz night every term and a yearly beer & skittles. Also each month there was a bingo which only brought in about £40-50 but over 10 months it wasnt to be sniffed at.

I think your fundraising has to fit your catchment area. I would have loved to host a cheese/wine evening but sadly it wouldnt have been well attended.

One good idea is to obtain a drinks licence - you set your fundraising dates for the year and then apply for a yearly licence which should cover up to about 10 dates. Alcohol brings both people in and of course large profits. Eg. case of beer = £14; 24 bottles sold for £1.25 = £30 - profit immediately without entrance fees etc.

CAT me if you like and I'd be happy to discuss our fundraising events with you.

Cod is also an active PTA member.

MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 18:36:05

My DD school one is great. Raises thousands ever year and work bloody hard for it. They are also in a village and a fairly wealthy one at that.

Things we did to raise money (the only job) was

Half termly

cake sales
Disco's
Cinema afternoon's

regularly but not so often

christmas presents
fayre
easter egg hunt
racing nights
fashion shows

A Teacher comes to every meeting and our Head is heavily involved. She is also a fabulous Head.

I used to work for a commity run nursery and that was a shambles. Constantly rowing amongst each other. Never got anything done and the staff weren't better. Needles to say I didn't work there very long.

SoupDragon Sun 20-Mar-05 18:37:06

I don't think our PTA has teachers on it as such but there may be a teachers' representative - I@m not actually part of the PTA so I don't know for sure. It is mainly fundraising I think but they decide, with the head, what is best to spend the money on. The fudraising activities they have are (off the top of my head):

Mufti days
Summer fete
Autumn/Christmas fete
School disco
Fashion show
Firework display
Quiz nights
Games nights

Another local school does an easter egg hunt too which I think is nice.

MaryP0p1 Sun 20-Mar-05 18:38:33

Just thought of another event we held. a evening of therapists. We would invite them to give little taster to people. The therapist are keen to come to get new custom and we would charge an entrance and they could see 3 therapist for that money. We would also have people like candles people and body shop etc selling things.

littlerach Sun 20-Mar-05 19:06:53

I am on the preschool fundraising commitee, we do the usual nearly new sales, and jumble. Also, fetes each term, fancy dress day, cake sale, plant sale, treasure hunts, raffles of unwanted pressies.
For our biggie this yr, we are holding an auction of promises, these include gifts from local companies eg mobile phones, cut price hotels and meals, and also services from parents etc, eg hairdresser, massage, fitness, gardener, sure you get the idea. We are combining this with a night of music (parents band) and a meal, which we will sell tickets for in advance.

Cod Sun 20-Mar-05 19:11:05

Message withdrawn

paolosgirl Sun 20-Mar-05 19:13:50

Can I suggest what NOT to do? Ds's school is fantastic - each PTA meeting is advertised in advance and open to anyone to attend. It's a real success story.
DD's school PTA is voted in by a committee once a year. The only time you can go (if you're not on the committee) is that one time. If you don't go, you then can't get voted onto the committee, and then can't attend any future meetings. The only time the PTA ask for any other parental involvement is when they need stalls run or tickets sold. Needless to say, most parents are not too impressed.

Davros Sun 20-Mar-05 19:23:13

This is an interesting thread for me as I am thinking of starting a PTA at DS's school but I know NOTHING about it. To fundraise, does the PTA have to be a separate charity?

velcrobott Sun 20-Mar-05 20:14:22

This is great... fab ideas... we are in a lower socio economic area so wine and cheese would be weird... wondered if pub quizz would go down well in such an area? Any thoughts?

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Sun 20-Mar-05 20:24:48

Hi, I ran our school PTA for 3 years. Head attended meetings, very good head. We are in a "very good" area and had lots of parental support. I found that the best thing to do was to organise fundraising events for the adults because that is where the money is. The only child friendly thing that I did was the summer fair, where we got sponsorship from the local estate agencies and used that money to hire funfair rides. I think that a quiz night is brilliant. You could probably get a good deal from the local chippy and provide a fish and chip supper in the ticket price. If I remember correctly Anorak (a mnetter) is a quiz setter so I bet you could ask her for some templates. (Hope that's not too presumptious Anorak )! Well done to you for wanting to get so involved. It's a lot of work and you'll find that there are some people who are really hard workers and others who pitch up with lots of ideas but little substance. I'm off out just now but if you want to CAT me I'll let you have a list of ideas that worked for us that you could use. The ideas that have been posted are great. Good luck

velcrobott Sun 20-Mar-05 21:21:32

Thanks

Anyone on a "council estate" mainly school's PTA?

swedishmum Sun 20-Mar-05 21:31:14

Hi I chaired the PTFA for about 4 years and although there were always those parents who decided not to support our events, in general we tried to appeal to those across the board, and in our village that was from single mothers on benefits to others on very comfortable 6 figure incomes.

First, make everyone feel important
Secondly, don't underestimate jumble sales etc - they can earn a fortune.
Thirdly, don't over-milk your community - if you have a big appeal, locals, regardless of income, will reach saturation point. Take a break and concentrate on outside sponsorship and fun events that may not even raise money - they all go towards enriching school life.
Fourthly, please make sure you don't become cliquey. Lots of parents have much to offer indifferent ways.
Fifth and most important - WINE for evening meetings!

jampots Sun 20-Mar-05 21:51:32

Velcrobott - Innquizitors do general "pub type quizes" and charge about £12 for each one. We charge about £2 per adult for quiz night and £1 for children. We have found that opening events to kids too ensures a higher number of attendees.

Davros Mon 21-Mar-05 09:32:48

We already have a Parents' Group and have a Home-School Liaison meeting with the Head every half term. BUT we always get the same handful of parents all the time. How do we avoid being cliquey, even unintentionally?

feelingold Mon 21-Mar-05 13:20:57

I am chairperson of PTA (but we call ours PFA, which stands for parents and friends association as teachers do not generally get very involved at our school). Every parent at our school is automatically a member of PFA, but how involved they become is up to them. We generally find the same few parents come to every meeting and do all of the organising but lots of parents are willing to come to events or donate raffle prizes etc.
Some events we held last year or doing this year are, family disco, sunday afternoon treasure hunt in the car followed by refreshments, family bingo, quiz evening with fish and chip supper, adult summer ball/dance, halloween disco (fancy dress), duck race on local river, race night and our biggest earners are the summer and christmas fayres.
We are also about to start sending out a monthly PFA newsletter with news on how much recent events raised, what events are about to come up, what we are raising money for, when we need cakes or raffle prizes etc and we will also 'rent out' space on the newsletter to parents who would like to advertise their childs bike for sale etc.

PTA's are about raising money, but they are also about getting parents and kids to socialise especially new parents.

Also PTA needs to be a registered charity if you raise more than about £500 per year (not sure on exact amount, would have to ask our treasurer.)
Info can be found on the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Assoc. website which i think is www.ncpta.uk.org.

Good luck to everyone, i'll be watching this thread if anyone would like any more info.

Cod Mon 21-Mar-05 13:24:37

Message withdrawn

feelingold Mon 21-Mar-05 21:33:28

For quiz nights you can buy sets of questions from various websites, you can download them, they charge anything from £1 for a set of 10. You can choose from loads of subjects.

HATCHETT Mon 21-Mar-05 21:48:56

I'm on the PTA at my children's school.
Similar events to those mentioned. We work bloody hard all year, but the only dissapointing thing is the lack of parents attending events. Same old faces each time. I'm sure many parents can agree with this.
1 other event we hold, which is 1 of the best for attendance, is a talent show for the children. They come up on stage & do anything from singing/dancing to telling jokes etc etc. Very well supportd because all parents of children taking part want to be there & loads of extra children want to watch it to see their friends perform.
We also hold a balloon race during the summer fete. £1 per balloon & for the next couple of weeks the children can track the progress of balloons found on a map during assembly.

talker Tue 04-Sep-07 12:34:31

Does anyone have a template for making up a pta newsletter I can use? Thanks

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