Why do we have a PTA?
Why are we a Registered Charity?
Role of the PTA Committee
Annual General Meeting
National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations
How we raise money
How we spend the money we raise
How we get information to you
How you can get involved
What the PTA means to our school
Parents’ Questionnaire – Please return
Copy of the latest newsletter
A very warm welcome to our school.
This booklet has been written by our PTA especially for you, as a new family within our school community. We realise it can be strange and a little nerve-wracking joining a school, and there always seems to be so many questions to ask. This booklet aims to set out all the information you will need about our Parent Teacher Association, which is a major part of our school life.
If after having read it (and we apologise for the length, but there is so much to tell you) you have any questions, please do get in touch with one of the PTA committee members, or ask via your class teacher, or the school office.
Why Do We Have A PTA?
We are very fortunate at our school to have a PTA that is, and has been, such an integral part of the school community for some time now. In its time the PTA has raised thousands of pounds, which have been spent on improving equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education and the facilities in school in general.
But our PTA is about much, much, more than just fundraising. The PTA exists to provide closer links between home and school, and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. It is fun too - just ask any of the PTA committee members or helpers. Obviously as in any organisation, there are times when it is more ‘challenging’, but with the continued support of parents and staff, our PTA has always succeeded in its efforts.
All parents and members of the school community can get involved if they want to, even if they only have a small amount of time available, and all parents are automatically members of the Brickhill Lower School Association when their children join our school.
Why Are We a Registered Charity?
It is a legal requirement that organisations such as ours, with an annual income in excess of £5,000 register with the Charity Commission.
As a Charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a constitution. Our constitution sets out rules about how we operate as a PTA and how we conduct ourselves. A full copy can be provided on request.
Being a Registered Charity gives us many extra benefits:
- We can raise funds more easily from grant giving trusts, local businesses etc;
- We can take advantage of charity matched giving schemes.
Charity Matched Giving is a very simple practice. Companies or businesses pledge to donate to a charity such as ourselves an amount of money relating to the amount that an employee(s) donates or fundraises for us.
If you think that your employer has a matched giving scheme already in operation, or if you would like some more information about charity matched giving or setting up a scheme in your workplace, please talk to one of the PTA officers, or ask in the school office.
Role of the Committee
Our PTA committee consists of four Officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) and other ‘ordinary’ committee members to make up the full committee.
The Committee meet on a regular basis usually once or twice per half term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary to organise larger more complicated events.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Our Annual General Meeting is held at School atthe beginning of the academic year and this is an opportunity for all parents to come along and hear in more detail about events run, funds raised and how the money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new committee.
A list of current PTA committee members is at the back of this booklet for your information. Updated lists are sent out each year after the AGM. If you are interested in joining the committee, please do not hesitate to talk to any committee member.
Support from the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations – NCPTA
Our PTA is a member of the NCPTA, which is the national charity that advances education and supports PTAs, throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our association is one of 13,000 in current membership of the NCPTA. We pay an annual membership fee to the NCPTA which gives us lots of member benefits including subscription linked insurance cover, support and advice on PTA and fundraising matters, opportunities to meet with other PTAs to discuss and share experiences, regular newsletters and the PTA magazine, and an extensive list of PTA information and resources. In addition, we have a valuable resource at our fingertips – www.ncpta.org.uk
www.ncpta.org.uk is also a valuable resource to you as parents, with signposts to useful, relevant web-sites on subjects such as bullying, school funding, special educational needs, homework, and much much more. To access www.ncpta.org.uk you will need to register using our NCPTA membership number, which is 11218, you can then create your own unique login, to give you access at anytime. Do have a look.
How We Raise Money
Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Some of our most popular events are the Annual Summer Fayre, School Discos, Half-term Magic Show and bingo or quiz nights.
So you can see there is always something going on. We always try and respond to the children’s requests for events and it is truly the icing on the cake to see them having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that the PTA has donated.
We are fortunate however to have other opportunities open to us to raise money. Donations are extremely important. These can be time, money, items for sale, donations for raffles or offers of services and skills.
How We Spend the Money We Raise
Once money is raised from events the funds are banked straight away. It is at our PTA Committee Meetings, that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed.
Usually, our Head teacher will have a ‘wish list’ of items that the school would like to purchase. Sometimes this will be as a result of the children asking for something, (as in the new playground equipment and seating), the School Council put forward suggestions in their meetings, and asks their classmates to vote on the ideas. At other times it will be for resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment. In the main the PTA funds are for the ‘extras’ not provided by the school budget, that make our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting.
PTA funds are not generally spent on improving the fabric of the school building as this is the responsibility of the school Governing Body. Our Constitution commits the PTA to spending money on things that will benefit the children directly.
The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting our school, your child/ren will feel the benefit, along with everybody else.
Of course there have been times when we have been fundraising for a large project. In the past, we have supported the installation of the playground play trails and interactive whiteboards in classrooms. However, whilst saving for these, we have still managed to find funds for smaller items thanks to the generous and continued support of our parents, such as ‘wet weather’ toys and football kits.
The PTA does have ongoing commitments every year:
We fund the cost of the dictionaries presented to Year 4 when they leave, provide oranges for the children at Christmas parties and arrange for a certain VIP to visit the children just before Christmas. We have also agreed to contribute to the School’s new nature garden project for this year and in the future.
Last school year we raised over £5,400 and so far this year, we have raised £2,200. At the back of this booklet are details of how we spent the money – we think you will be impressed.
How We Get Information to You
All PTA letters we send home are printed on green paper – so we are easily recognised. The letters include information on forthcoming events and dates plus requests for assistance, when we are planning large events.
A PTA Newsletter is published giving a round up of events, a summary of the amount raised that term, any equipment we have bought for the school and input from the children etc.
We are currently trying to establish a list of parents’ email addresses, so we can also keep you informed this way. If you would like to hear from us by email, please let the PTA Secretary have your email address.
How Can You Get Involved
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the PTA.
Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable – it really is a case of ‘many hands make light work’. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you can’t come into school. There are always little jobs that can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare e.g. wrapping gifts, preparing raffle tickets etc. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the unseen ‘army of help’ that exists in school.
You can of course if you feel able, volunteer to be a Committee Member. Or you can simply support the AGM and give us your ideas for fundraising events – this is also the time to ask questions or voice your opinion.
You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use – everything is potentially valuable to us. There is a brief questionnaire at the back of the booklet to fill in and return if you are able to help in any way, no matter how small.
What the PTA Means to Our School
Because our PTA involves the whole school community we thought you would like to know what others think about our PTA.
Headteacher’s comments –
“Brickhill Lower School PTA makes a fantastic contribution to our school. They raise money towards worthwhile projects that enhance the life and learning of the pupils and at the same time put on fun events for everyone to take part in and enjoy. Thank you to all the members who work hard but seem to manage to have great fun too!
Teacher comments –
“A huge thank you goes to all members and supporters of our School Association who work tirelessly to organise and run a wide range of enjoyable activities for the School. We are ‘richer’ for all their efforts! Their contributions certainly add to the fun and learning at Brickhill. “
Children’s comments –
“The June Fayre is really good.”
“They set up and organise discos for us.”
“PTA are good because discos are good and there is lots to do.”
“The PTA care for us at school because they raise money for us.”
Thank you for taking the time to read our brochure. We hope you now know a little more about your Parent Teacher Association. On behalf of all the children we would like to thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experiences and makes their time in school so enjoyable.
From all the PTA Committee