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what has your PTA wasted lots of money on?

(117 Posts)
zanzibarmum Fri 23-Oct-09 21:08:05

PTAs do a great job raising money but IME they can also waste a lot of money on ill-conceived, poorly executed and under used projects.Who's got the most outrageous story of waste?

OurLadyOfPerpetualBloodSucker Fri 23-Oct-09 21:13:40

A plasticky-looking shelter outside the main entrance to my DCs' old (private) primary school, so the parents didn't have to stand in the rain.

It kind of made me think the fees we were paying were far too high, if that was the only dire need the PTA could think of.

choccyp1g Fri 23-Oct-09 21:16:26

Shade sails in the playground. great idea, but why can't they also be showerproof?

zanzibarmum Fri 23-Oct-09 21:45:49

Ourladyofperpetual - you make a great point. In the state sector too you would want funds spent where there would be the greatest educational impact rather than, for example, replacing a suite of computers that don't need replacing. I know PTA funds are for extras rather than essentials but for me I would want PTA funds spent say on a specialist science teacher or Shakespeare4kids, not grandiose projects appealing more to the parents and egos in the PTA, rather than the children..

Sounds like your fees are not well spend - do you get a financial report from the school each year so that you can see how your money is spent?

LynetteScavo Fri 23-Oct-09 21:55:45

Oh, a new shelter apeared outside DS1's (state) school, aparently to keep parents dry.It's not nearly big enough to shelter all parents, though. I've only just joined the PTA, so I'm not sure if it was PTA funds spent on it, but I can't imagine it came out of the school's budget!

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 23-Oct-09 22:00:24

Don't most PTAs ask the school what they want them to raise money for rather than deciding on a project off their own bat? I know we certainly do. Our PTA has paid for a stage for the school hall, playground markings, and an wildlife/nature trail area in the school grounds - all very well used and much appreciated.

mablemurple Fri 23-Oct-09 22:02:12

What a mean spirited op sad. Most PTAs are not run by professional fund raisers, so there is bound to be the odd project that doesn't quite live up to its original promise.

There are also a lot of people who prefer to criticise the efforts of others rather than making a positive contribution themselves.

Zanzibarmum, have you got any examples of these "grandiose projects appealing more to the parents and egos in the PTA, rather than the children"? Or are you trawling for examples for your next article?

cleanandclothed Fri 23-Oct-09 22:03:48

Message withdrawn

zanzibarmum Fri 23-Oct-09 22:51:36

Mable - yes I have and so it appears do others. I recognise the work PTAs like mine do (see original post) but I can also see waste and I also see a lot of egos at play as discussed here before. I actually think that the amateur mums are wiser in spending the money that the former business professionals some of the latter reliving their careers vicarously.

We know from the recent DCSF report that schools generally waste a lot of money, if your PTA doesn't then please share the secret.

zanzibarmum Fri 23-Oct-09 22:51:38

Mable - yes I have and so it appears do others. I recognise the work PTAs like mine do (see original post) but I can also see waste and I also see a lot of egos at play as discussed here before. I actually think that the amateur mums are wiser in spending the money that the former business professionals some of the latter reliving their careers vicarously.

We know from the recent DCSF report that schools generally waste a lot of money, if your PTA doesn't then please share the secret.

heavealot Fri 23-Oct-09 22:51:53

I've never been asked for my views on whwat the money should be spent on, just asked for money wink

Which I'm always happy to give, don't get me wrong.

But it all seems to go on techy stuff, digital cameras for eg.

Whereas I would rather it went on something to involve children more in music/art which the school doesn't provide very well for imo.

Feenie Fri 23-Oct-09 23:01:34

What recent DCSF report? Does it specifically mention PTA funds?

mummyofevilprincesses Fri 23-Oct-09 23:17:11

They are only saying that schools waste a lot of money to justify the budget cuts that are going on. Our PTA pays for extras like cooking equipment, nice books for the children, Christmas parties and gifts etc.

We have a big project every so often and work closely with the head to decide on something that will enhance the school. We have paid for things like a quiet garden, a roundhouse in the forest school and have just paid for a new building to use as a nurture room.

All of these things are of benefit to the children in the school and without fundraising, we just could not have them.

zanzibarmum Fri 23-Oct-09 23:26:41

Mummyofevilprincess - well done your PTA! What's a nurture room?

Feenie Fri 23-Oct-09 23:35:39

But did they report that schools waste a lot of money? Or PTAs?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Sat 24-Oct-09 00:29:21

Could we have some specifics of this report please, Zanzibarmum. And, for that matter, some evidence for your assertion that PTAs actually get a free hand in deciding how the money they raise is spent. Not the case, IME.
And as a governor who sits on the GB's finance committee, I KNOW that our school does not waste money - we have to carefully consider every penny we spend.

mablemurple Sat 24-Oct-09 08:23:16

Zanzibarmum, neither you nor any other poster has come up with an example of PTA "waste". Your op stated "IME..." - examples, please.

As others have said, the PTA do not decide what to spend their funds on in isolation. And sorry, but hmm at funding a "specialist science teacher" - is that even in a PTA's remit?

seeker Sat 24-Oct-09 08:26:14

The money raised by PTA is specifically for "extras".

You are not allowed to fund a science teacher by selling home made cakes!

CatherineofMumbles Sat 24-Oct-09 09:39:22

Ours repainted and primped up the staff toliets.Obviously nice for the staff, but this is something their employers should have stumped up for - if it was necessary. Certainly made me less inclined to participate, as these decisions appear to be made arbitrarily by a few busybodies currying favour with the head.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 24-Oct-09 09:45:22

Message withdrawn

mablemurple Sat 24-Oct-09 09:57:17

fgs - "...a few busybodies currying favour with the head". Exactly what favours has your head teacher been handing out to these people?
If you think these decisions are made arbitrarily, then join the PTA committee yourself and get your voice heard (and before you bleat that you haven't got the time, all the committee members on our PTA have several children and full time jobs, so it can be done).

As it happens, I do agree with you that the money for repainting the toilets probably should have come from the funding authority, but the sad fact is that for state schools there is no money for that kind of thing. (I work in a council office where the floor covering is more duct tape than carpet, has been for years and is likely to continue to be so for many years to come). Disagreeing with how the money is spent does not mean that the money has been wasted.

piscesmoon Sat 24-Oct-09 09:58:05

If you don't like it, join the PTA and give your views before they spend it.

andiem Sat 24-Oct-09 10:03:30

op jurnalists do a great job of writng articles but ime there are a lazy few who come on mn and then ask others to do it for them
what outrageous examples of this do you have?

Marioandluigi Sat 24-Oct-09 10:13:19

I am on the PTA at our school. We have bought playground and sports equiptment, subsidised trips for KS1 and KS2.

We dont waste money. Our PTA is made up of parents and teachers, we all have opinions and we vote on everything.

I agree with Piscesmoon.

spokette Sat 24-Oct-09 10:25:27

Once again, the beleaguered unpaid individuals who give their time freely are bashed for making decisions in their attempts to make life rosier for the children and staff at their school.

These ingrates need to form their own alternative PTA and show the unprofessional sops whose prime motive is to gain favour from the headteacher how raising and spendings funds should be done.

My primary school raised £35k last year btw and guess what, it was the same few people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make it happen.

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