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Successful PTA? Can I pick your brains please.

(12 Posts)
ingles2 Wed 01-Oct-08 09:54:08

We've just started a new school and somehow I have magically and mysteriously been voted as Chair of the PTA! shock grin (I'm pleased really)
Anyway, the PTA is very successful financially but I am really shocked to discover there are only 10 members in a school of 300+ children.
We had 10 members in our last school and there were only 80 children!.. So not good.
I was thinking about a questionnaire asking what people want from the PTA, when they could attend, what sort of thing they would like to do. And also starting a monthly coffee morning, as at the moment the meetings are at 8pm every 3 months, so not very social
I've also heard of class reps, but we don't have them.
So,...has anyone managed to increase the PTA numbers?
Do you have class reps? Does it work?
Do people answer questionnaires or am I wasting my time?

ComeOVeneer Wed 01-Oct-08 10:02:36

Hi, I am another pta chair. I think one of the major problems is people see a sucessful pta, run by the same small number of people and assume (rightly or wrongly depending on the school) that it is cliquey and they won't be welcome. We did a big drive last term to promote the pta, specifically aimed at the new parents whose children have just started in Sept. We attended the open days/new parents evening, where the head allowed me to make a speech about the PTA, new parents coffee mornings etc. We got their email addresses so they could recieve info even before the term started. We organised a couple of park meet-ups for them over the summer to get to know their fellow pupils/parents. As a result we had our first event on Saturday, which was hugely well attended and helped by many newbies and it would appear that we have made almost £2000 compared to £700 for the event last year.

In answer to your other questions, we do have class reps - 2 for each class. They are our liason point (we hold seperate meetings just the committee and class reps, then they inform the rest of the class, drum up volunteers for events etc). They also organise various social events for their class (eg drinks once a month, christmas meal, whatever they feel like).

In answer to the questionnaire, it really depends, you need to gauge wether the situation is one of apathy, and people see it gets done so don't bother to volunteer, or if it is perceived as their help wouldn't be wanted/needed.


ingles2 Wed 01-Oct-08 10:20:11

Thank COV,.. you're right I think. It's both apathy and not thinking help is needed.
Also I've just taken over from a Male chair and the Head is also male. The PTA has been run in a very succinct, businesslike manner whereas I was hoping, expecting more of a social aspect, as we don't know anyone.
I'm going to do a Questionnaire and see what happens.
How many members do you have do you think? And what event did you have to raise £2000?? <and can I pinch it grin >

gremlindolphin Wed 01-Oct-08 11:25:15

Hello, I'm the Joint Chair of our PTA. There are 10 of us on the Committee but lots of other helpers. The majority of parents are supportive but we too suffer from apathy/perceptions of cliqueyness.

We do coffee mornings, cake stalls, outside events, xmas cards, second hand uniform etc and our most successful events socially and financially are our Quiz night and Summer and Christmas Fairs. We have just had to cancel an evening event due to lack of interest/money and babysitters!

Financially I think there is a lot of money we could be taping into from grants etc - we got £6,300 last year for our Travel Plan related activities. Its seems like a faf at the time but it is actually quite efficient.

Comeoverneer, I like your idea of concerted effort on new Mums and I would also love to know what event you raised £2000 at?!

Mungarra Wed 01-Oct-08 11:27:39

I'm a PTA Secretary.

Class reps are a good idea as they spread the work and are a good way of communicating with individual classes. They can sell tickets, organise stalls, coffee mornings etc.

It's a good idea to advertise the meetings and emphasise that everyone is welcome. However, most people are just not interested, have small babies or are too busy to commit to it. There are plenty of people, who will NEVER be interested in joining the PTA. Hopefully those people will still attend events and spend money at them.

We have a Summer Fair, a Christmas Fair, but our biggest earner is a Bonfire & Fireworks night, which has been going for 25 years and is a big local event (it's a lot of work and needs a lot of volunteers).

ComeOVeneer Wed 01-Oct-08 16:15:11

We did a sponsored bounce and bbq with bar and icecreaam stall on Saturday. FOrtunately the weather was fantastic drawing plenty of people in. The wine was donated by a local shop, the local pub/restaraunt donated the meat for the bbq, we persuaded the bouncy castle to be hired for free as 2 mums hired it over the summer for b'day parties. The bar/bbq/icecream stall alone raised over £600 and the sponsorship money coming in has raised it to close to £2000. This btw is a small infant school with only 6 classes plus a nursery. So it can be done grin

ingles2 Wed 01-Oct-08 20:32:18

WOW CoV! Very impressive... smile
Well I've jumped in with both feet today and sent out an email saying I want to concentrate on increasing numbers, and want to do the questionnaire and coffee morning.
I've had emails from everyone saying fantastic grin
So I'm feeling quite chuffed with myself.
<they have no idea how bossy I am yet.... he he>

ComeOVeneer Wed 01-Oct-08 21:04:30

Well done and good luck. Sounds like people just needed to be asked for there participation and just assumed you lot all had it sewn up.

67Impala Thu 02-Oct-08 17:49:06

Ooooooh, I'd be interested in a copy of that questionnaire ingles2 as I really want to do more for my PTA as at the moment, it's a right shower.

ingles2 Fri 03-Oct-08 20:57:04

no problem 67.
am working on it now. CAT me and I'll send it on.

DRAGON30 Fri 03-Oct-08 22:21:37

Ingles, - could I have a copy of the questionnaire too,please? Our PTA is VERY cliquey, and needs a good boot up the bum!!
(By the way, what does CAT me mean??!)blush

ingles2 Sat 04-Oct-08 09:52:24

no problem Dragon
CAT is contact another MNetter. You have to join it costs about £5 a year I think, then you click the little envelope on the right when you want to send a message.

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