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PTA survey

(16 Posts)
mummmypirate Fri 19-Oct-12 07:56:28

Morning, our PTA is on a recruitment drive and we thought we'd start by conducting a survey of parents and staff to gauge perceptions of the PTA. Have you done anything similar? As a parent, what are the sorts of areas you'd like to give your PTA feedback on? Thanks for your time.

cakebar Fri 19-Oct-12 14:33:20

Our pta did one last year, and got less than 10% replying. They offered it online and through a letter. I think completing it is not high on the list of priorities for busy parents.

Having said that our pta numbers are increasing, mainly through recruiting parents new to the school. We give out an information pack to new parents now (reception and other years) and didn't before. The pta is doing a lot more and I guess that raises the profile. I think the main reason though is that the school is becoming more popular and so is attracting more pta type parents................

redskyatnight Fri 19-Oct-12 14:43:51

We also did a paper survey last year and I think we got 9 replies (200 families in school).
We do lots of things to ensure that the PTA has high profile - noticeboard in school with pictures of event and what the money is spent on, regular newsletter etc. The consensus (from actually talking to parents) is that most people value the PTA and what it does but have no inclination to get involved. We're now moving to a model of fundraisers that are not labour intensive -for the first time ever we're not running a Christmas fair this year, because it's just impossible to manage with 8 PTA members and whatever staff members we can beg to help.

midseasonsale Fri 19-Oct-12 20:53:07

The PTA used to get lots of support but the new chair eventually wore everyone out. I think everyone felt hounded constantly.

I also think very few would reply. We increased our pool of volunteers significantly a couple of years ago by appointing class reps to do some of the PTA jobs but with no obligation to be on the committee or come to meetings, ie less commitment. Several of those who were class reps/non-committee members in the first year are now on the committee, having seen how it works at close hand. They were mostly recruited from being friends of existing committee members or after having been spotted volunteeering in school in other capacities (reading, school trips etc).

The jobs tHe class reps do are recruiting volunteers for class stalls at summer Fayre, ditto class cake sale (once a year), helping class make goodies to sell at Christmas Fair, collecting items for class hamper for Christmas raffle. They are often also happy to do non class specific jobs like sticking raffle tickets on bottles for tombolas, setting up Fairs and cake sales on the day, putting up posters. All of this takes a lot of pressure off the core committee.

LynetteScavo Fri 19-Oct-12 21:09:44

I no longer bother with our PTA because I work full time and am not the chair, treasurer or secretary. Apparently that is all they need. The chair was the vice chair who thinks she can run everything, and told the chair she didn't need to turn up, and to take it easy. hmm

Oh, they will come asking when it's time for the summer fair and they realise the three of them need help to man the stalls.

The feedback I would give is that if you want help for big events don't only tell your two best friends when the meetings are.

FannyBazaar Fri 19-Oct-12 22:58:12

I have said many times would say to my PTA having meetings bang smack in the middle of the working day is a PITA, FFS how about an evening meeting or breakfast meeting? I'm not really keen on the idea of taking half a day off work to attend a PTA meeting.

I know, I know, you can't please everyone.

maybeyoushoulddrive Fri 19-Oct-12 23:17:06

I don't know if surveys are the way to go... Raising the profile is a good idea, everyone welcome etc etc.

I agree about meeting times. Ours (junior school) are always at night, at the Infant School they were always at 9 am. I think maybe a mixture of times might get more involvement. I know two of my friends who would help but can't do evening meetings...

Also if a Chair is particularly scary it does put people off volunteering... Oh and PTAs who are stuck in the pastgrin New ideas should be welcomed!

We alternate daytime and evening meetings the daytime ones are usually at 2pm as we find more people can attend than at 9am, some people have morning only jobs. We never have full attendance, most of us work, some can't do evenings but it is a small school and most of us see each other most days in the playground if we need to talk, it wll works pretty well.

GateGipsy Sat 20-Oct-12 13:02:15

we've had evening meetings for our PTA. We used to alternate between day meeting, then the next evening and so forth. After the nth evening meeting in a row where only one person came apart from the committee members we gave up. We do have committee meetings in the evening - these are really well attended as we have them at the local pub. We've about 30 'committee', and usually get about 10 to a meeting which is good going I think.

But honestly, does anyone on a PTA actually manage to have successful evening meetings? And if you do, how do you make them successful?

We even tried to have our AGM in the evening once, advertising it well in advance, doing book bag flyers, putting up posters, putting it on newsletters. Two non-committee members turned up, and one of those left as she was there by mistake (she'd got the wrong night and thought it was a parent forum on the science cirriculum).

We don't have any expectation that anyone will come other than the committee members, although newsletters make clear that anyone will be welcome. We usually get about 2/3 of the committee at any given meeting. Our evening ones are held at 7pm at school, they are business like and never longer than an hour, then those that wish to can adjourn to the pub (the teachers never come). It probably helps that we have a small catchment area and everyone lives very close to school and the pub.

We hold our AGM at the first cake sale of the year, which is straight after school on a Friday towards the end of Sept, so we have a captive audience.

maillotjaune Sat 20-Oct-12 15:12:24

I don't imagine we'd get many responses to a survey, but sending out a regular (half termly) newsletter has raised our PTA profile and it's pretty easy to do.

We always cover events coming up, what we've done and how much raised, what has been spent AND ask for feedback with email addresses of the committee.

Sometimes we get feedback which is great but as someone said upthread I think most parents are happy to support when they can but don't want / can't take on responsibility.

maillotjaune Sat 20-Oct-12 15:15:02

We only have evening meetings btw - don't get huge turnout, usually 4-8 people but ALL of the regular attenders including staff work at least part time and cannot do daytime meetings.

I don't think attendance at meetings is the be all and end all as long as you aren't short of volunteers to help when you do fairs etc.

ContinentalKat Sat 20-Oct-12 15:25:14

I think this year nobody will volunteer for the PTA at our little school! I would therefore be very interested to learn which non-labour intensive things could be done by just 2 or 3 people!

maillotjaune Sat 20-Oct-12 20:37:43

Continental - Bag2School raised us about £1000 last year, Easyfundraising is up to £750 odd in 2 years. They are very little work.

redskyatnight Mon 22-Oct-12 09:56:08

ContinentalKat I think if there's genuinely only 2 or 3 of you, it's going to be hard work whatever!!

Things we do:
- cake stalls (because this just means the odd person to look after a stall for 15 minutes after school and can be done in conjunction with small children running about so we do seem to get volunteers for this)

- collecting things type fundraisers (e.g. bags2school, old DVDs, electric cables are one we've done) - just need someone to sort out and send off

- catalogue type things e.g. bulb orders, yellow moon - just need someone to coordinate

- school discos are more labour intensive but not too much prep - just booking disco person and buying drinks/snacks. Again we find parents are more happy to help at these as they want to keep an eye on their children/can't be bothered to go home and come back again for an hour

- mufti days

- DS's school ask for small donations of up to value maybe 50p/£1 (e.g. sweets, toiletries, small toys) for a non-uniform day. They then put them in bundles and sell raffle tickets (either 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 chance of winning). So you need 1 person or 2 to bundle and 1 person to sell the tickets.

- we're given up on summer and Christmas fairs - they are just no feasible unless you can get lots of parents to man stalls - no fun for half a dozen people to do all the set up, run themselves ragged and then clear up afterwards

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