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I want to be on the best PTA!!

(6 Posts)
Lemoncurdcake Wed 15-Jun-16 21:52:49

My dc is starting reception in September. I really want to be involved in his education and also the extra curricular stuff that goes on at the school, so that would be the PTA. Do you have any tips on what makes a successful PTA? The primary school is huge (one of my reservations esp as I went to a small school myself) but really keen to get involved and hopefully engage some other parents (make friends) too. Any tips? Many thanks! !halo

bojorojo Wed 15-Jun-16 22:22:44

You do come across as a bit over keen! Are you sure the PTA run extra curricular activities? That would be unusual. Parents may run extra curricular clubs but the PTA are a fund raising organisation and probably a charity.

Your best bet is to go along to one of their events. Most PTAs need parent helpers so help out where you can. It does not take long before you will be a valuable asset to the PTA team.

However - fund raising and helping at the school fair is not really being involved in your DS's education. Often schools welcome regular parent helpers to hear children read. At home, you will be expected to hear your own child read, help your DS learn tables and provide a good learning environment at home. There is a limit regarding what you can do in school but if you have a talent and time, you will be welcome.

TeenAndTween Thu 16-Jun-16 07:19:19

PTA - first year - offer to help with events whenever asked (or even proactively). Understand the lay of the land and learn 'how things are done'. Then you have some background for getting more involved in later years if you want to suggest changes or lead events.
(Unless you are at a school where they are desperate for new committee members in which case go for it from the start).

Otherwise reading at the school, being available for trips etc.

Greatballs Thu 16-Jun-16 07:37:12

What a lovely positive post! I'm chair of our PTA and would love to have someone like you come along in September smile

As bojorojo said, your first call would be to join in with PTA events. Volunteers are always extremely welcome and you'll get a feel for the sort of things that go on and what us required. Most PTAs have some sort of welcome or introduction meeting for new families where they'll bombard you with information, and be trying to attract new keen people like you! Go along to their meetings and find out who's who. If you're looking to make friends maybe you could persuade another new reception parent to come along too, but you'll quickly make pals mucking in at events.

It's worth noting that school and their PTAs differ vastly in culture. Ours is a small school with a very relaxed and informal feel. The PTA is actually a "friends of..." and, although the staff help out at events, it's run by parents. Also worth noting - some PTAs are hardcore fundraising machines and who raise and spend a lot of money. Others are more like social committees who simply run events for their own sake (eg.discos or fairs) and many are a mix of the two.

From personal experience, I'd recommend going in with an open heart and willing hands and see where it takes you. I love ours and give a lot of myself, but that's because it suits my personality. If it's very different from your outlook and expectations it may drive you crazy!

grin Good luck in September and enjoy the new chapter in your little one's life.

Greatballs Thu 16-Jun-16 07:51:01

Sorry, cross post Teenandtween! grin

Ashers40 Thu 16-Jun-16 12:01:36

If you are not working and have free time, offer to go in and help with reading or whatever they need. This has given me a good insight into the school, the teachers,and my childrens class. You often then get "picked" to help on school trips as they know and trust you. If they run any workshops for parents on how to support learning in phonics or maths, go along. If they don't, ask them to. Our PTA is primarily a fund raising machine, but they will all love an offer of help and you will make new friends. It helps you to feel part of the school and feel as though you are helping to make it better. If you want a more influential, decision making role think about running for school governor. I love the time I spend at our primary school and I'm really conscious that these years go quickly and you don't have the same opportunity to get involved once they are at secondary school (DD1 transfers in Sept). Good luck and enjoy it!

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