Bloody PTA

(43 Posts)
Lollipop30 Fri 14-Sep-18 00:57:08

Can I just can it?
Stupidly stepped forward to be chair. Nobody else wanted to do it and I’ve instantly regretted it. Can I just say I regret it and can’t do it actually? I’ve been it for one day 🤦‍♀️

I really really don’t want to do it. I’d managed to get just under 30 parents to say they were happy to help then went to the meeting said yes I’d be chair, managed to persuade vice and treasurer to stay. Then got told by the teachers not to expect any input from them and don’t expect to use school out of school time as they won’t be staying to keep it open, no events on a Friday or weekend and don’t run events away from school as they wouldn’t intend to come or support them.
They don’t run after school clubs etc at our school or do any events for the same reason.

Just feeling what’s the point?! Have I signed my own death warrant or can I back out?

OP’s posts: |
Kerberos Fri 14-Sep-18 00:59:05

Normally I'd say it'll all be fine

But if i were you I'd run away. You need the teachers on your side.

Kerberos Fri 14-Sep-18 00:59:41

And i say that going into my 4th year on pta...

Lollipop30 Fri 14-Sep-18 01:05:37

How do I back out?!!!

OP’s posts: |
5000KallaxHoles Fri 14-Sep-18 06:41:21

I'm trying desperately to avoid having to stand for election myself at the moment! Happy to do the behind the scenes fiddly stuff and stuff on computer but in a school like ours which runs on you knowing everyone and being well connected I am definitely not the person to be doing an elected role.

Your school sound like arses though. We get the odd bit of office staff mardiness but nothing like what you're getting.

PiggyPlumPie Fri 14-Sep-18 06:47:03

I was you! Pushed into it and had no support. I emailed saying that I could not longer do it due to personal circumstances. I think everyone thought I was having marriage difficulties or a breakdown or something!

Best thing I did - a huge weight was lifted and nobody actually asked me for details just asked if I was OK!

RhymesWithOrange Fri 14-Sep-18 06:57:57

My DH is chair of the PTA and it is a lot of work.

But tbh if that's the attitude of teachers then just adjust your ambitions accordingly. Do small things, like cake sales or ice lolly sales. Don't even think about big events like fetes.

Will the teachers even facilitate you communicating with other parents? Like having PTA news in the school newsletter?

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KeithLeMonde Fri 14-Sep-18 06:59:24

If you quit, tell them why. Don't say personal circumstances.

Hoppinggreen Fri 14-Sep-18 07:25:59

We began a PTA 2 years ago and it’s going really well but without a supportive Head and Deputy I don’t know how we would manage
We don’t get much help from other teachers ( although one who is also a parent is on the committee) and we try not to “bother” School too much by asking to use facilities etc but with no support at all from School I don’t see how you can do it

grasspigeons Fri 14-Sep-18 07:35:27

Walking away is fine, sounds hellish.

but low organisation events are cake sale, lollipop sale, Christmas hamper raffle at the nativity performance (hampers made up from donated items) Easter colouring competition, mufti day, smatrie tube challenge. I'm sure others have ideas of non events.

Spend one hour making a year schedule of PTA non events - say one a month, get the head to approve it, publish it. 30 people could sort those ideas easily. And point out you won't be funding a new library from it. Pick something achievable so people know what the non events are raising money for.

Summer fairs normally raise 50% of monies and you can't do one with the schools restriction. But that's ok. It's not your job. If the school is so unconcerned about the money they obviously have enough

BubblesBuddy Fri 14-Sep-18 07:37:55

I am appalled. Schools all have to consider how they engage with their parent body and working with the PTA is usually one of them. What is the Head saying? It was extremely rude of the teachers to say this anyway. It has all the hallmarks of a crap school I’m afraid. It makes me wonder how good the school is. I don’t know a school without a PTA. I don’t expect all teachers to be available all the time, but school premises are always made available in every school I know.

You can just resign of course. However I would see the Head before you do and talk through what has been said to you. On your appointment, I would have expected teachers to be welcoming and friendly at the very least. Rudeness like this isn’t acceptable and I would be communicating this to the Head. Are they not interested in a PTA at all? Effectively they are kicking the PRA into touch and that’s not acceptable.

I would leave the school if it was me. It sounds awful. Your children are missing out. How can you put up with such a dire attitude?

Cindersdonegood Fri 14-Sep-18 08:01:21

When our new headteacher arrived she was appalled to find that none of the teachers were willing to assist at any PTA event at all but still had their hands held out every term for funding for their class projects etc. We had had a disastrous disco (Valentines or Halloween etc) one year when only one member of the faculty turned up but wouldn't come out of her office and the children had no known authority figure to control them. There's a huge difference between a teacher telling you to stop running and 'Laura and Bob's mum' saying it. It was bedlam. Children were crying, PTA were being ignored and some kids were getting hurt.

The new head encouraged her staff to get involved at least once a year or not to ask the PTA to fund anything for their classes. Funnily enough the PTA are doing well and there's support from the teachers who get a lot back for their minimal effort.

OP, perhaps you could suggest something similar? Tell the staff that if they want funding, they can put some bloody effort in. It's not much.
If you get a no, pop your resignation in citing a change of personal circumstances. Screw em.

sallythesheep73 Fri 14-Sep-18 10:08:27

Have you only done it for 1 day? how do you know how bad it is?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 14-Sep-18 11:47:44

What a miserable school, I’d run fast and far

sallythesheep73 Fri 14-Sep-18 12:08:40

I have been on the PTA 2 years and have not seen a member of staff at one of the meetings... I think its truly crap.

Lollipop30 Fri 14-Sep-18 12:35:40

I’ll try and answer all, I’ve now decided to step away, it’ll fold but that might be for the best.

I’ve only been ‘chair’ one day I’ve been on it a year and a bit, it’s always been terrible but nobody’s spoken to the parents before they’re all a bit shy apart from me, again the reason I’ve got it.

We can’t do anything that involves school in general and asking the teachers to do anything has always been a battle I just figured it was because the old chair was a battle axe!

Every single suggestion at the meeting was met with a why we couldn’t do xyz. I’m an ex teacher myself and I’ve never met such lazy negative people.

The school is crap but my kids are happy and like their friends and I’m in a nice enough situation to be able to take them to swimming, football etc outside of school to make up with the lack of anything not core subjects.

OP’s posts: |
BreconBeBuggered Fri 14-Sep-18 12:56:26

They do know the 'T' stands for 'teachers', don't they? I mean sure, it's not compulsory for staff to engage with it, any more than it is for parents, but it does cut both ways. They sound as if they think the whole thing is a bloody nuisance. Kick it into touch. You have better things to do with your time.

sallythesheep73 Fri 14-Sep-18 12:59:04

Lollipop30 I feel your pain. I was a governor at my children's school for a year and I made about 4 suggestions (all relatively small things), none were accepted there was always a reason why they couldn't happen. Everything was done to keep me away from recruitment and finance (I have a science degree and am a project manager for multi million dollar projects so understand budgets etc). They tried to give me HSE sigh. I was blocked from going into school to do the subject liaison visit I had been given at 36 hours notice..
I could go on...
All in all the school and some of the governors were lazy and could not get out of a wet paper bag. They didnt want any new ideas or for anything to change. I was having sleepless nights over how crap the education was.
I quit in the end and instantly felt better. Two of the other governors contacted me to say sorry you've left, we hoped you would bring about much needed change! But they were the silent minority.

If I were you I would give them a last chance and publicly point out if there is not more effort it will fold. If it folds you will have done your best.

Now you know why the ex chair seemed such a battleaxe - she probably used to be normal!!

RiverTam Fri 14-Sep-18 13:00:00

Does the school need the money the PTA raise? If the answer is yes then I would tell them in plain English that without their sipper the PTA will fold and they’ll be ££££ down.

sallythesheep73 Fri 14-Sep-18 13:00:41

I was amazed there was a T in PTA but the teachers didnt seem to be aware of it...

GrimSqueaker Fri 14-Sep-18 13:04:26

Our head's quite frank about the fact that there's bound to be a point in time where the "usual" events need NOT to happen for people to sit up and take notice that these things don't happen by magic. I want to step back a bit from ours (and definitely do NOT want to stand for election) because I'm sick of the chief playground twistyfaces about every single event running their mouths off about it all but doing nothing to contribute to improving things while their kids come to it all (and also bully my daughter). In the interests of not provoking a major diplomatic incident I'm trying to step back a bit this year before I find myself saying something I probably won't regret but should do!

I don't blame you though.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 14-Sep-18 14:31:33

7 years primary PTA, 5 years secondary (some overlapping).

Teachers shouldn't have to stay for events, though it is nice if they will occasionally. But If the head is against having a PTA then you haven't a hope and you may as well stop now. So who from the school side is being so negative about their involvement?

If the HT is on board, then in your circumstances start small to build up trust with the teachers and the parents. So maybe a cake sale?
Something like a disco with tickets sold by school office, and one senior teacher in attendance is fun and raises money.

If HT is against PTA you might as well bang your head against a brick wall.

viques Fri 14-Sep-18 15:05:21

First of al a disclaimer, I used to do odd meetings plus events and stalls for the PTA as a teacher. But, I quite understood the reasoning of my colleagues who didn't.

It was a large school, over 600 children, potentially therefore about a thousand parents . THere was a large staff, but many resented the fact that teacher non attendance was remarked upon, whereas no one kept a tally of non attending parents. If 10 parents of the thousand turned up that was a good turnout , if only one teacher turned up it was remarked upon.As teachers pointed out, many were in school from before 8 in the morning to after 5 at night most days of the week. To expect them to also turn up at weekends and evenings when they often had their own families to deal with was unfair. How many other working parents go into their workplace on days off to raise funds?

And funds raised were for the children's benefit, not for the teachers'.

The handful of parents who ran the PTA did an amazing job,were very successful at raising funds, and to be fair it wasn't usually them who moaned about the lack of teacher participation, that was usually down to the school gate whingers , who didn't go to the meetings either.... But then they of course had really good reasons why they couldn't.

WhitefriarsDillyDuck Fri 14-Sep-18 15:07:36

Turn it into a friends of xxx school not a PTA. get wider community involvement, lots of retired people have a lot to offer.

Is the school PFI?

Why doesn't the school have a caretaker to open and close?

Plan a balance of social activities that break even and activities that make money. So there may be a coffee drop in at school which won't make money but will promote the community side of the school. Likewise doing the refreshments as plays or open evenings won't make money but will assist school staff.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 14-Sep-18 15:34:56

You can do things that don't need teachers to be involved, but you do need HT (and office staff) buy-in and cooperation.

The HT authorises what activities can take place on school premises, before, after or during school day.
The office staff send out letters, sell tickets, and can collect in / store cakes etc.

It is not the teachers job to man stalls or do anything for the PTA. of course it is lovely if they do, but it should not be expected. Everything possible should be done to minimise disruption.

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