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PTA - AIBU to think it's a nightmare?

83 replies

yellowspottedwellies · 26/09/2018 15:41

I just had an email From the school asking for volunteers for the PTA.
Part of me is tempted, but the biggest part of me thinks that the PTA is just going to be a nightmare - full of pushy women with grand designs. My son is in year six but my daughter starts next September and I've always had a feeling that I perhaps I should be doing more - so what I'm asking is for your opinions on your PTA!

OP posts:

HardofCleaning · 26/09/2018 17:44

irregular usually the belief is based on experience. Not Al PTA members are like that in some schools nine are like that but it's definitely a phenomenon that exists. The problem is that if a clique joins the PTA everyone who isn't interested in the playground politics leaves because they just can't be bothered with it, leaving only the cliquey people left. My DCs school definitely had this issue a few years ago, now quite a few of the worst offenders have left there are some lovely volunteers who just want to do something nice for the school.


HardofCleaning · 26/09/2018 17:46

The Tier system sounds a little annoying but I guess it depends. In my village play group the waiting list was ridiculous if you weren't on at birth you weren't getting a place yet it almost had to shut due to lack of volunteers. They changed it so if you volunteered you got a place for your child. It annoyed lots of people but it was that or close down.


3TresTrois · 26/09/2018 17:46

Ours is run by a completely bonkers older woman and her daughter. She’s been running it since her daughter was a pupil, now her daughters kids are at the school. So years and years.

She’s completely batshit and has alienated every other parent that tries to get involved, yet the school do nothing.

The PTA seems to attract control freaks, in my experience.


Satsumaeater · 26/09/2018 17:49

We are just a bunch of power hungry bored housewives who do it to suck up to The Head so our child gets to be Mary in The Nativity.
we are a group of working ( some FT and some PT) parents and teachers who give up our free time to put on activities that you and your children can enjoy and that also raise much needed funds for YOUR child’s school
Why don’t you try and find out which

Probably a mix of both in most cases.


Mummyshark2018 · 26/09/2018 17:56

Don't go into it with pre-conceived ideas. The PTA I was on was lovely- we met at a pub and was a good opp to meet friends. Wasn't restricted to mind either. I'm not a bored housewife! I work full time in a respectable job and even though I can't do as much as I used to I still help out with events. It is sad to see the same bunch of people facilitating lovely activities for all the children and their families and most are thankless tasks (school staff were always very appreciative) . In these days of sure school budgets PTA's are even more important than ever. We made 15k last year which helped buy a new school minibus.


Maccycheesefries · 26/09/2018 17:59

I've got experience of the two extremes, dd's PTA is full of power hungry ex city workers. Ds's school PTA is a group of parents from mixed backgrounds wanting to raise money & have fun. I know which one I'd rather help out with.


Monr0e · 26/09/2018 18:10

@bestbefore, the incentives apparently include free entry, no queuing etc for events such as the summer fete, which the already get as they are usually helping set up, man stalls etc. But they will also get front row seats for any school organised events such as class assemblies, school plays. So things that they wouldn't have any part in organising but obviously both them and their DC'S benefit from with having mum and dad front row while the rest of us plans queue up and stand at the back for Grin This is the thing that is annoying people the most.


Monr0e · 26/09/2018 18:11

That should have said "the rest of us plebs " not plans!


auntyflonono · 26/09/2018 19:22

I enjoyed doing it, we had some fun times, but it was also good to finish! Grin


gamerwidow · 26/09/2018 19:24

My PTA is great but I would say that because I chair it. If it was full of self important pushy people we’d all be very disappointed as it affords you no power whatsoever while giving you loads of extra stuff to do.


gamerwidow · 26/09/2018 19:26

No front row seats, preferential treatment for kids or any other bonuses available to PTA at our school. They wouldn’t even let me sit in the office to draw the raffle I had to sit in the car park in the rain by myself 😂 I seriously need to move schools.


scottishlovely · 26/09/2018 19:28

If you have the time to help, please give it a go. It may end up being a bunch of bitchy alpha mums, in which case just leave again. Or, like at my school, it might be a group of lovely parents who work really hard to raise as much money as we can to buy even essential gear now that the school simply can't fund anymore.
I got so annoyed last year at the tiny amount of people that bothered to come along to meetings. I absolute understand that many parents work full time, have other commitments etc. But equally many parents do have time to spare and chose not help. I don't think they realise just how much time and effort goes into organising the events that we do that raises the money so their kids can have a nicer school experience. Grrr!!!


coatsandats · 26/09/2018 19:30

Someone has belatedly joined ours clearly with the idea that it's full of "pushy women with grand designs" tomwuote you, OP.

Frankly I wish she would either stop coming to the meetings or at leat directly state her low opinion of us so we can set her straight. Instead it's all attitude and snide comments. She has decided that we don't work full time (with one exception we all do) etc etc. She's fine with the men (mostly) but has definitely decided that the women are of a type. SO weird.

So yeah, if you're thinking of joining but have already decided that you won't like anyone else on the committee then either give your head a wobble or don't join. You'll just be subconsciously looking for confirmation of your prejudice and it'll be unhelpful all round. Save your time.


coatsandats · 26/09/2018 19:32

*tomwuote = to quote


blackteasplease · 26/09/2018 19:33

I stood for parent governor to avoid It!


bonbonours · 26/09/2018 19:38

Pretty sure all the 'best parts in the play' nonsense is complete urban myth. Most teachers neither know nor care who is on the pta. Most people on pta just want to help their kids' school.

Also most people who think other people are being cliquey have never bothered to try talking to them.

Most pta are desperate for more people who can help out as usually its a small handful of people doing a lot of work. The danger is if you agree to be chair or treasurer etc you may get stuck with it as nobody else will agree to take it on from you.


yellowspottedwellies · 26/09/2018 19:53

Calm the fuck down @coatsandats ! What a aggressive answer.

OP posts:

PhilomenaButterfly · 26/09/2018 19:57

I'm a member of the PTA. We were the ones who organised the cake sales, which paid for the summer fair, which in turn paid for new play equipment. The climbing frame was ripping children's clothes and giving them skelfs, so it was desperately needed.


Busybusybust · 26/09/2018 19:58

Aw. I loved my years on the PTA. I’m not the most confident person, but the other members were lovely. I am famous for introducing Pimms to the end of term bbq, after speeches in the cathedral! 20 years on, they still do it!


coatsandats · 26/09/2018 20:02


That's a case of the intended tone being very different to the received tone!

I'm calm.

But, definitely don't join if you already think you don't like people. It'll be a waste of your time.


TheNavigator · 26/09/2018 20:13

I'd avoid like the plague if I were you...


theSnuffster · 26/09/2018 20:17

Ours isn't like the stereotype at all. They're a nice bunch. I manage to make it to meetings now and again and have helped with a few events in the past. But there's no pressure, some people can help lots and others very little. They're really grateful for any help at all. And they understand that some people genuinely can't help at all. They've raised loads of money for great things for the school- iPads, forest school resources etc- things that otherwise the school wouldn't have been able to buy.


theSnuffster · 26/09/2018 20:21

Oh and the only 'benefit' is that we might find out the date of some events a little earlier than other parents! No front row seats or free entry or whatever else!


RiverOrange · 26/09/2018 20:34

I did PTA for one yr and legged it. I joined to help the school and make friends Smile how stupid was I. There was the queen bee of the PTA who eye rolled every time you made a suggestion or simply ignored you but spoke enthusiastically if any of her friends made a suggestion, even if it was the same suggestion you had just made.

None of them ever said hello if you bumped into them in the playground, many a cheery 'hello', was left floating around in the air. Eyes averted as they walked past. Snide remarks around about members who had the gall to miss a meeting or their conduct during an event eg not raising enough money being one of them. Couldn't leave fast enough.


PecanPastry · 28/09/2018 07:38

@Monr0e that's absolutely horrendous, PTA is about promoting inclusiveness as much as anything else - let us know how the bun fight goes

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