16 Nov PTA: Provide Time, Anytime
By Aimee Hart @hart_at_home
Those of you who have read my articles before will know that I am a Deputy Head at the same school my daughter attends. This was a decision I made to make our day-to-day lives easier and to ensure she had friends in the area we lived. Plus, the school is amazing and I couldn’t wish for more. Having the ‘parent & staff member’ status is pretty difficult to juggle and ensuring I stay professional without being cold can be a hard balance to strike. But, I feel that having relationships with other parents is key and having a positive relationship with your child’s school is essential.
This year the current members of our PTA (parent teacher association) stepped down leaving a huge problem. The money raised from events is vital to give the school funds for those things that it’s already stretched, budget can’t afford. I’ve seen the surplus that schools have and believe me when I say there is never enough to meet the growing needs of schools. Enter… PTAs! Discos, tuck shops, coffee mornings, non-uniform days, summer fetes, Christmas markets et cetera. All of these events are planned and delivered by your school’s PTA or ‘Friend of School’ group. School staff simply don’t have the time or enough people to orchestrate these events. Not only do these events provide wonderful opportunities for the children but they raise the vital funds for schools! For example: four £1 non-uniform days a year alone can raise £1,000 in a small school. This money then goes directly to something that will benefit the children in school. Full circle! I was blissfully unaware of how much these groups did for the school and how, without them, those little extra touches would be gone for good. So, if you’re not part of your school’s PTA for one of the following reasons… take a read to see how you can help.
I don’t have time!
Now you might be thinking to yourself “what can I offer? I work full time and have no time or energy for events!” Playing an active role doesn’t always mean being at every event or pouring every cup of tea. Being enthusiastic, sharing ideas and communicating with your class parents can be done from your phone and I guarantee will be highly appreciated. Liking posts on Facebook or sharing fundraising ideas is a great way to stay involved. Maybe you could sign up for one event over the course of the year or offer to make or prepare something in a small window of time you have.
I don’t know anyone!
Maybe you are feeling slightly intimidated by the thought of joining a group of parents you don’t know. Or maybe they are all from a one year group and seem like a ‘clicky’ group. This will not be the case, they will welcome you with open arms. They all started feeling exactly the same way and will want you there. It’s always one of the best ways to get yourself known to others and create relationships and friendships.
I have no idea about planning events!Ok, unless your PTA decides to do something pretty radical, most events are easy to plan but difficult to organise without supporters to pick up delvieries (usually of hotdogs), decorate spaces or just put tables and chairs out. Leave the planning to someone else but offer your services for something different. I always love manning the tombola.
Times are changing and money is tight within schools. Everything costs more and every penny of the schools budget needs to be used strategically. Funds raised by the school PTA go towards those things that put the cherry on the top… or are needed in an emergency. Please help in any way you can. I promise you will get that warm fuzzy feeling if you do.