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Joining the PTA - what puts you off???

(59 Posts)
GeeWhizz Tue 01-Sep-09 20:35:32

Just curious about other people's opinions of the PTA. Have been on our infant school PTA for about 18 months and would like to encourage more people to join.

We only have 3 parents and it can be tough going organising everything.

So what puts you off joining???

GeeWhizz Tue 01-Sep-09 20:53:25


beautifulgirls Tue 01-Sep-09 21:04:55

In theory I would, but in practice I can't right now. I have DD#1 about to start in reception, her younger sister still in preschool and a baby on the way - for me the issue is time therefore at the moment. I have told the PTA at the school I will make myself available on special days to help out with events, but can not do meetings and put in time in between at this stage. Hopefuly I will get more time in the future and may be able to do more.

GeeWhizz Tue 01-Sep-09 21:18:13

Thanks for your reply.

We can't even get people to volunteer 30 minutes of their time at an event. At the school fair all the teachers had to run a stall as only 3 other parents volunteered. Just means you have to remain at the stall and then help pack up at the end as well.

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:22:28

I would like to know too.

I suspect it's fear of having to commit massively, as beautifulgirls' post suggests.

Actually, someone being available to help out with events would be a massive help and I wish we had more peopel who would do that! encouraging smile

choosyfloosy Tue 01-Sep-09 21:23:16

Hmm. I was on the governing body of a primary school but slightly hold off from the Friends of the School which is very active. I do volunteer to do stuff though.

I'd imagine it's about the age group - I started agreeing to help with shorter-notice stuff (as opposed to the governing body which was predictable) when ds was in Reception. Before that I wouldn't have.

What about making a special pitch to grandparents??

redskyatnight Tue 01-Sep-09 21:23:42

two reasons
1. Too scared to go to a meeting where everyone knows everyone else (or that's how it appears)

2. Don't want to be pigeonholed by other parents as "one of them PTA lot" (few enough of them talk to me)

I do however volunteer to help at PTA events though I am in a very small minority of non-PTA parents who do!

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:26:50

redsky that's it, it's fear of the hideous PTA clique.

We are holding a hopefully friendly get to know you evening at the start of term which we hope will dispell these fears smile

galletti Tue 01-Sep-09 21:29:58

Having been involved in my school's PTa for the last six years, I know how difficult it can be - it is usually the same parents every year that help and attend the meetings. What do the PTA pay for out of the funds raised at your school? Have you communicated with the parents what it does contribute? For example we did feedback at one stage that people didn't know where the money was going, so we told them - each school trip is subsidised by £3.00 for each child per trip, libraries get overhauled, we pay for lots of visiting groups to the school that children enjoy and get added educational value from , parties at the end of term, extra computers etc. Also, it is really important to have social events that do not involve the children, and are usually great money spinners, quiz nights, race nights etc that get people together and also talking about how to move things on/volunteer for events.

TeamEdward Tue 01-Sep-09 21:33:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dogshitsonthedailymail Tue 01-Sep-09 21:35:01

Message withdrawn

hayes Tue 01-Sep-09 21:35:04

cliques, overpowering people not interested in anyone elses opinions, also depends on the they have an open door policy? schools can seem like very unfriendly places to people who are new to them.

This is my experience at our school, I'm not on PTA but do help at events smile

TheCrackFox Tue 01-Sep-09 21:37:14

I would quite like to join the PTA but DH is a chef so I would have to organise a babysitter to go.

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:41:22

dailymail believe me, younger DC don't mean you can't join!

If DH/DP is not available to babysit so you can get to meetings, you can still be valuable. Give yr name to the right person and they will let you know what you can do to help.

GeeWhizz Tue 01-Sep-09 21:41:43

Regular updates on school newsletter, are buying outside canopies for outside the classrooms which are about £3600 which we have been telling the parents about. Have just bought another over the summer.

Not masses of money raised though.

Tortington Tue 01-Sep-09 21:43:03

IME the cut of the jib of the other PTA members

Dogshitsonthedailymail Tue 01-Sep-09 21:43:24

Message withdrawn

TeamEdward Tue 01-Sep-09 21:45:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GeeWhizz Tue 01-Sep-09 21:46:00

DD 5 and DS only just 3 have brought them with me to many meetings.

Is any time better for people to meet? They tried straight after school which is then when I joined. Now meetings are at 6 pm which seems to suit us remaining ones (DH back to babysit).

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:49:53

why wouldn't yr DP babysit? <puzzled>

Yes, check what time the meetings are. They may be at a time which means you can bring the children too.

Or anyway, even if not, meeting attendance is far from essential.

For example, I am organising (gahhh) a pamper evening this autumn. I will be desperate for half a dozen helpers on the night who don't have to have come to a meeting. (Oh they will need babysitters tho).

We always need peopel to do things like make phone calls, fold raffle tickets, set up stalls on an afternoon - all can be done with other DC in tow. I know, I've done it.

Dogshitsonthedailymail Tue 01-Sep-09 21:53:26

Message withdrawn

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:55:38

Oh well our meetinsg start at 7.45pm or 8pm as a rule.

That's because most of our members WOTH at least some of the time.

We do occasionally have a meeting in school time to do some last-minute fair admin etc, but these will be very select (I often can't make it as I work 4 days / week).

Worth checking out when meetings are and even suggesting a time that would suit you better?!

GeeWhizz Tue 01-Sep-09 21:55:52

I regularly remind all the parents picking up on an afternoon that our meeting is on the next evening, and then remind them on the day. Shout excuse me first and am very polite - does everyone know about the meeting, who is coming etc

Best excuse I heard was that they were expecting a bed to be delivered couldn't really think of a comeback for that one!

Clary Tue 01-Sep-09 21:57:10

geewhizz people have been known to duck hastily behind the nearest tree when they see me bearing down upon them in the playground with a gleam in my eye and a request for a tray of chocolate brownies! grin

<not really. At least I hope not really>

crokky Tue 01-Sep-09 21:59:50

I think it's just probably scary (cliques etc or not exactly understanding what happens when and why). That coupled with extremely busy lives. I don't think most people have time to get everything done.

I have seen on mumsnet before that there are plenty of people who would rather write a cheque for £50 at the start of the year and not be contacted about events. I can sympathise with them and understand why they feel that way. There are a lot of things for people to do - work, school, family, friends, household stuff etc etc.

Plus, some people are just not "committee people". Some events are not people's cup of tea - I am a total tomboy and don't wear makeup or have cosmetics apart from a bit of shampoo, toothpaste and deo, I'd hate to attend a pamper evening, I'd feel ridiculous and wonder what the hell it was all about.

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