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PTAs becoming 'Friends of X School'?

(17 Posts)
merrymonsters Thu 23-Jul-09 21:22:43

I am Secretary of our primary school's PTA. I've noticed that a few of our local schools have changed their PTAs to 'Friends of X School'.

Does anyone know why they do this? What are the benefits and what is the legal difference?

Someone (not involved in her school's PTA) said that it was because no teachers were involved, but that doesn't seem like much of a reason.

PlumBumMum Thu 23-Jul-09 21:25:04

We've always been 'Friends of.....', I always thought it was because our school try to promote a family atmosphere

Smithagain Thu 23-Jul-09 21:32:43

There are teachers in our "Friends of" association. So that's not it. I don't think there is a difference - it just sounds nice and cosy!

IotasCat Thu 23-Jul-09 21:37:24

Friends widens it out to anyone who wants to be involved e.g. Grandparents

kittybrown Thu 23-Jul-09 22:53:07

Also it lets people who aren't parents or teachers stand on the committee.

clemette Thu 23-Jul-09 22:54:45

Ours is called XX Association. Every teacher and parent is a member until they opt out.

catwalker Fri 24-Jul-09 08:24:28

My son's primary changed from having a PTA to a Friends' Association a couple of years ago. The reason they did this was because you can only be a member of the PTA if you have a child at the school or if you teach at the school. We had a brilliant PTA committee who had worked together for a number of years, but we were faced with losing most of them when their children left at the end of Y6. Turning into a Friends' Association meant that we could keep some of them as committee members and also involve a few grandparents.

bruffin Fri 24-Jul-09 09:13:31

Ours changed because a lot of the original pta no longer had children at the school but still wanted to be involved.

Sagacious Fri 24-Jul-09 09:20:02

Assuming you follow the NCPTA constitution IRRC on the original joining form you can state what you want to be called when you sign it. I would imagine you can just call them up and change it.

We are a "Friends of" but the Headmaster is President (honoury title TBH) no other teachers involved (although we'd like them to be!)

mummyrex Fri 24-Jul-09 14:40:26

We called ours the PTFA, Parents, Teachers & Friends Assoc. The aim was to broaden involvement.

katiestar Fri 24-Jul-09 15:40:06

Ours has been 'Friends of' for as long as I've been associated with the school.

PfftTheMagicDragon Fri 24-Jul-09 15:41:48

Ours was PTA, then PTFA, now it's changed to PSFA for staff instead of teachers.

IdrisTheDragon Fri 24-Jul-09 15:45:44

Both my primary and secondary schools had Friends of associations when I was there and I started primary school nearly 30 years ago.

merrymonsters Fri 24-Jul-09 17:09:38

Thanks everyone. I can see the point now.

peanutbutterkid Sat 25-Jul-09 14:27:22

I hate the "Friends of" thing. Maybe I will get used to it.

Before DC went to school I hadn't a clue what a PTA was, but I had at least heard of "PTA", and I suspect I could have looked it up on the Internet and quickly found an answer (unlike "Friends of").

Instead of PTA I was told about something called the "Friends of" and I hadn't a clue what that meant, either, which continued for a long time. Apparently DC school used to have a PTA, but it was changed to Friends Of, and I think it happened precisely because most people do know what a PTA is about (thankless hard work); the name change was a kind of gimmick to make the PTA more attractive sounding.

hocuspontas Sat 25-Jul-09 14:44:28

PTA to me sounds American (Harper Valley PTA grin) and also implies a two-way partnership of sorts between parents and teachers instead of just a fund-raising body which they all are. 'Friends' sounds just what it is - a fund-raising organisation. Ours have gone through various names but are now Friends.

pagwatch Sat 25-Jul-09 14:59:04

Our ds2's is friend of paglets school. It is a SN school and calling it "friends of" allows all the fantastic voluntary groups and sponsors and un-fucking -believably brilliant people who help because they know these children need it , feel as though they are as important to the school as anyone else.Which I like.

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