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PTA Events

(15 Posts)
lels99 Sun 17-May-15 20:47:41

Evening, was hoping to gather a few opinions on this....

Have somehow ended up as treasurer of our PTA and am getting even more disheartened with the school. I should say now that we are really struggling to get members for the pta and probably operate with 5 members, managing to rope a few more people for events.

We recently held school discos for the children and raised close to £800 for the school. Afterwards, rather than saying well done, but... The deputy head (who attended the next PTA meeting) launched into a rant about how teachers couldn't be expected to help at the disco and that teaching assistants who also had children at the school felt pressured into helping. She then said that teachers are not available to help at any future events.

My question basically is, how much do teachers in your school help with these events (discos, christmas and summer fairs etc)? And if you are a teacher, how much do you resent it?


AsBrightAsAJewel Sun 17-May-15 21:35:35

It is not an uncommon grumble - at a friend's school it reached a crisis when there were meetings starting at 7pm once a fortnight and each term had a film night, two discos, a Saturday fayre, a craft event and a bingo night! Great if you don't have a family and it is part of your social life, but when you've already done a 60 - 70 hour week in school to be expected to attend the vast majority of these did become an annoyance. Someone contacted their union over the strong-arm approach in expecting teachers to attend and it was agreed that unless it was taken from the 1265 hours "directed time" no one should be expected to attend. I know my friend voluntarily attends a few, but the head no longer insists.

At my school we attend an occasional event but not many of them. I know there is muttering in the playground and one parent actually told a member of staff that they clearly didn't care about the children in her class because they didn't attend the Saturday summer fayre! She happened to have seriously ill parent in hospital. We are happy to help out sometimes, but resentment does build when there is an expectation we have to give up our own time to attend every time.


TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 17-May-15 21:41:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pancakeflipper Sun 17-May-15 21:44:01

The staff at our school are not asked or expected to help (I am a parent not staff).
Parents do it all. Though the caretaker is often about to help.
A call goes out to those parents not on the PTA but known to help out if asked nicely.

Things like the Summer fayres are attended by many of the staff but they are not expected to help.

Though I was helping at an event at the weekend and the Deputy Head was there helping because they really wanted to. It was much appreciated by the PTA.

madamginger Sun 17-May-15 21:44:39

I'm on our PTA as secretary (as a parent not a teacher) we have 4 core members and others that help out as and when.
The teachers tend to help out when they can for example at Halloween we had a ks1 and ks2 disco and the teachers stayed for those but didn't for the Easter bingo evening.
We get fed up sometimes but it's more with parents that expect others to do the work but don't volunteer themselves. We put a signup sheet in the staff room for events like the summer fair calling for helpers but it's very much voluntary.

Allgunsblazing Sun 17-May-15 21:49:53

What about the class reps?
No teacher at our PTA meetings, but we coordonate with the HT/deputy via email.
Also, printing a list of dates and tasks we need help with and sending it to parents helps.
So is making sure that the efforts of the parents who help doesn't go unnoticed.
I work full time, so can't make it to all events, I'm ok with that and so are the rest of the PTA members. Perhaps it would be worth looking at the leadership, 5 seems very littlesmile
Kudos to you for getting involved and helping! But for a teacher to say you're not getting any more support from them, makes me think you guys haven't quite got the right way around it, they must be seriously annoyed.

MidniteScribbler Mon 18-May-15 02:36:45

I do think that organising a PTA event, then expecting the teachers to be the ones to do the work for it is actually pretty cheeky. We do help out at a lot of events, but if you organise an event, then you need to provide the parent helpers to run the event. I already have a lot of out of school hours events I am required to attend (play, musical, christmas concert, parent teacher evenings, open nights, out of hours staff meetings, etc), and it costs me at least $100 for a babysitter for my toddler for those evenings. I wouldn't be voluntarily adding another night (and another $100) at this stage for a PTA event. I (and most other teachers) will attend the fete days/craft fair/etc where we can attend with our families and will support the various stalls etc.

ClearEyesFullHearts Mon 18-May-15 02:46:58

Sorry to derail thread, but bloody hell midnitescribbler, what's the going hourly rate for sitters in the US these days?!

AsBrightAsAJewel Mon 18-May-15 07:38:13

Another teacher bugbear is a PTA setting the dates for things either without consulting staff or, worse, knowing it is really difficult / impossible ploughing in regardless. For example setting something up on mothers day when staff want to spend the day with their own children or mothers, or booking an evening event in the same week when we've had three late nights already for parents evenings.

MidniteScribbler Mon 18-May-15 07:40:00

That's in Australia. It costs me $20 per hour, so I have to pick him up from daycare and take him home about 4pm and go back to the school, then if I don't get home until 9pm, there's $100. I'll be glad when he's a bit older and going to the school, so at least he can come along to most events.

In my younger, childfree years, I was happy to help out at most of the school events, but now I've had to become somewhat more selfish. I find that many of the younger teachers who are in their early years of teaching are often more eager to help out than those of us who have been at the school for years.

Sparkle9 Mon 18-May-15 08:36:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

padkin Mon 18-May-15 09:10:11

I think I'll echo what has already been said. I appreciate what the PTA do, but at my school they need to get over the fact that they think they are raising money for the staff, who should be grateful. It's not for me, it's for their children's school.

I don't want to attend events in my own time. I have children of my own at home, and extra time in school for such events mean additional childcare costs and even more time away from home. I spend approx 50 hours a week working, and that's on a 4 day contract. I've already dropped the salary of 1 day because my family life and marriage was seriously suffering with the amount of work I was doing over the weekend, so no, I don't want to turn up in the evenings to support a quiz or on a Saturday, as I'm already at home marking and planning, and working my butt off trying to think of engaging ways to support learning and 'accelerate' the progress of children in my class, which I take very seriously. I do help out at the school discos, as they are during a staff meeting time which is cancelled so we, as a staff can attend.

20 years ago, when I started teaching, I happily attended everything, and helped run stalls, refreshments, events. But in those days my workload was half what it is now, I didn't have a family of my own and I had goodwill in abundance. Not anymore, sadly.

lels99 Mon 18-May-15 18:15:51

I should say now that we are not talking lots of events here. There are three events per year that we would love the teachers to be a bit more involved in, school disco, summer fair and christmas fair. All held immediately after school for a maximum of two hours each.

Buttercup27 Mon 18-May-15 18:24:54

At our school it's the friends of <primary > school not pta (parent teacher association ) so the staff have no involvement in anything that they do. They liase with the head who arranges use of school building etc but staff are not expected to help.

TeenAndTween Tue 19-May-15 14:26:46

OP, I'm a parent here on our PTA. We ask that a teacher is present if at all possible for discos purely as an authority figure should the kids not listen to us. That's it. Normally they stay outside the hall and chat to the parent manning the door. If needed they are called for. Occasionally they choose to join in the dancing!

We do not expect teachers to be available for Christmas or Summer fair, but any that do attend and are happy to help run something are very much appreciated. We are a small committee and we cut our cloth accordingly.

We are raising funds for the school, but for the benefit of our children, not for the benefit of the teachers.

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