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Should I join the PTA?

(13 Posts)
MrsMulder Sat 23-Jul-16 18:45:35

Ds is starting reception in September and I only work 2 days a week so would have the time to help out. Is it a lot of hassle though? And what would I have to do? Don't want to be the annoying parent that is always after money from people!

Ragwort Sat 23-Jul-16 18:50:29

All PTAs are different - on Mumsnet you tend to hear some horror stories but I have been on four different PTAs (we moved a lot grin) and found them all perfectly OK and I met some very pleasant, like minded people through PTAs. My parents are in their 80s and are still friends with people they met at my primary school's PTA nearly 60 years ago grin.

Why not try it? You can always resign if it isn't for you. Be absolutely clear about how much and exactly what you are prepared to do.

workplacewoe Sat 23-Jul-16 18:57:17

I think it's lovely that you want to help out and I'm sure your contribution will be hugely appreciated. Even if you don't want to or can't afford the time to be at everything, having an extra person to help set up for the Chrostmas Fayre etc. will be lovely.

When DD started school, I got involved with the PTA. At first it did seem a bit 'cliquey' (everyone else knew each other very well) but I soon realised that that was purely because it was the same 8 or 10 people offering to help out at school events time and time again, so naturally they'd formed a close bond. They were genuinely really pleased to have someone else on board and I'm very glad I put myself forward.

The 10 of us have raised over £3000 for DDs school this year and it's a big achievement. It makes me a bit sad though that so much more could be done if more people were willing to help out here and there.

SharonfromEON Sat 23-Jul-16 19:49:07

They are all different. I am on not on PTA as meetings are in an evening and I would need childcare..However I do help out in different ways..I often help at school fair or school disco's..

TweeBee Sat 23-Jul-16 19:52:29

Hello. My DD started school in September last year. I was anxious for her to settle in and was off work on maternity leave so decided to help with the PTA. I said I wouldn't be able to come to evening meetings because of baby DS but would help as I could. It's been great. Everyone very friendly and has helped me to feel more in touch with what's going on. So personally I would recommend., though I know it can be very hard work.
Maybe you could help out this year and see how it goes and then join more formally next year?

dylsmimi Sat 23-Jul-16 19:53:58

I joined the pta when ds started reception and it has been fun - big events can be hard work but worth it. We get to choose the events and also say how much we can do - so if an activity is on a day you can't do just because you are on the pta doesn't mean you have to volunteer for it all.
Give it a try and see how it goes - most seem very pleased to have new members - we have to rein ourselves in with our enthusiasm when we get someone new incase we scare them off!! smile

MrsMulder Sat 23-Jul-16 19:55:27

Thanks everyone, think I will give it a go. Like you say, I can always step back if I need to. I would like to be involved if I can, it's such an important part of their lives. I am a bit worried about cliques but not to the degree that it would stop me

smellyboot Sat 23-Jul-16 23:59:19

Do it. I do. People think it can be cliquey. It's rubbish often. I met loads of helpful likeminded parents in all school,years

PollyCoddle Sun 24-Jul-16 00:17:03

I agree that it's been a great way to meet people. We've raised tonnes of money and I like using some of my spare time to good effect (SAHM). I might have a year off next year while I try to get back into work. It doesn't have to be a life sentence.

That said, schools have lots of chances to volunteer outside the PTA and you could go to them. I like doing things with adults rather than reading groups etc with children, so PTA suits me better.

Ferguson Mon 25-Jul-16 19:55:31

Or would you prefer to help out in a classroom, working with the children? Many schools need support to hear 'readers', or if you have any specific skills or experience - sports, drama, music, gardening, arts and crafts, ICT - some teachers like to have parent helpers.

sleeplessinderbyshire Thu 28-Jul-16 08:56:22

Please give it a go. I'm the vice chair of ours and we're always thrilled to have anyone new join us. We raised £7.5k this year (small village school) which goes to fund important things the school budget can't stretch to. I've heard horror stories on MN. In real life the bad stuff is the depressing reality of the same 5-6 people doing all the volunteering, running all the events and being told "I'm too busy" when you approach people to ask for help even though you know they are sahm with no younger kids or other dependants

PennyAsset Fri 29-Jul-16 18:11:42

Give it a go if you fancy it but please promise not to come on MN and whinge about how it's always the same people doing all the work wink

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Sat 30-Jul-16 22:25:00

By all means give it a go!

I have experience of a lovely PTA (my school where I work) and managed to raise £1200 just from the summer fayre and the three sports days selling hot beverages to parents (and cakes of course!) Everyone gets on and they have a large number of 'general helpers' because they are welcoming, friendly and always open to suggestions without being defensive or nasty and judgemental.

As you can tell, I also have experience of a PTA that is everything that is should not be and sadly at my DD's school. A small group of ladies who are 'small on numbers' but listening to village gossip repeat the SAME reasons why, I am not surprised! That is one PTA that I am NOT getting involved with unless there is a huge overhaul in leadership and membership.

But of course you will never know what your PTA is like unless you join. Don;t always listen to what people have to say, and I say that as someone who does EXACTLY what I am telling you NOT to listen to but those who have an opinion are likely those who have poor experience of a PTA. Unless of course, like me, you end up hearing the same story over and over again.

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