The Parent Teacher Association

Why do we have a PTA?

We are fortunate at our school to have a PTA that is and has been an integral part of the school community for over 20 years. In its time the PTA has raised thousands of pounds, which has been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education experience and the school’s facilities.

Our PTA is about much more than simply fundraising.  The PTA exists to provide closer links between home and school and it is an excellent way to bring parents together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal.  It is a great way to meet new people, make friends and have fun.

All parents and members of the school community are encouraged to get involved, even if they only have a small amount of time available. All families are automatically members of Speen School PTA when their child joins our school.  As a small school every contribution makes a real difference.

The PTA is extremely conscious of the School’s ethos and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this.  Not all of our events are run as fundraisers.  For example we often hold a parent social night in the autumn term as an opportunity for new parents to meet and we host a Children’s party with the aim of giving the children a good time.

A direct link to the Speen School PTA website: http://www.speenschoolpta.co.uk/

Charitable status

Charity law requires voluntary organisations such as ours with an annual income in excess of £5,000 to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. As a charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a governing document referred to as our constitution.  Our constitution sets out the rules about how we operate as a PTA and how we conduct ourselves.

Links with the Community

As a village school we have developed strong links with the local community and are always well supported by both residents and businesses, for which we are very grateful.  Speen Stores is a great supporter and we have received grants from the Shop Fund regularly, most recently to refurbish the School Library.   Many local residents support the school through attending PTA events.  As many are ex-parents these events enable parents to keep in touch.  The PTA also has a regular article in the Village magazine.

Role of the Committee

Our PTA committee consists of three Officers: Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. Over recent years there has also been a Vice-Chair to provide further support.   Year Representatives are also elected and play an important role.

The Committee meet once a term, in the evening at the school. All parents are invited to attend the termly meetings and are encouraged to attend.  Smaller working groups meet as necessary when larger events are planned.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Our Annual General Meeting is held in September at the beginning of the academic year and provides an opportunity for all parents to come along and hear in more detail about the work of the PTA, the events we have run, the funds we have raised and how the money has been spent.  It is also the occasion when we elect our new committee members and year representatives.

Year Representatives

Our Year Representatives undertake a very important role.  There are usually one or two rep’s per year who provide a channel of communication between the PTA committee and the parents in their year, actively helping build a sense of community among parents by ensuring parents feel involved and encouraged to join in and volunteer.  They organise social events for the year too.

Support from PTA-UK

Speen School PTA is a member of PTA-UK, which is a national charity and membership organisation providing support and guidance for all home school associations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our association is one of over 13,600 members in current membership of the PTA-UK.  We pay an annual membership fee which gives us lots of member benefits including comprehensive insurance cover for all PTA run events, support and advice on running the PTA plus fundraising ideas and good practice hints and tips.

How we raise money

Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run.   We have a range of events that have become a ‘tradition’, but looking at past years there have been many different events so nothing is set in stone.  We are always on the look out for new ideas.  Some of our most popular events are:

We raise money in other ways too. Donations from parents are extremely important.  You can donate time, money, items for sale, raffle prizes and auction lots or offers of services and skills.

We arrange and sell a DVD of the Christmas Play, organise and sell Christmas cards and gifts created by the Children’s, arrange for a local professional photographer to visit, amongst other things.

Other Roles of the PTA

The PTA also supports the children in raising money for external charities.  For example last year Parent volunteers organised activities for Children in Need, Sport’s Relief, & Macmillan.

We also support the school by providing refreshments at events. For example, at Sport’s Afternoon, after the Christmas Play and at Cross-Country, some of which are fund-raisers.

Following requests we also keep stock of donated second-hand uniform and hold an informal sale (if we have enough stock) twice a year.

How we spend the money we raise

Following a fundraising event the money is banked straight away.  It is at our PTA Committee meetings, that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed.

The PTA funds are spent on the ‘extras’ that are not provided by the school’s budget, thus making 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.  We always endeavour to spend our funds in ways that will benefit all our children across all areas of the school and curriculum.

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.

Funds can be spent on large items such as the Sensory Garden or on small items such as new balls for the playground, as well as many items in between. The PTA has provided the coach travel for school trips, which has given the pupils the opportunity to attend events at the Royal Albert Hall or to enhance topic work by visiting The Chiltern Open Air Museum, for example.  We also support the Annual art, music and drama event called Speen Schoolfest by providing resources and enabling external artists to share their skills with our children.

How you can 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 doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you cannot come into school.  There are always 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 behind the scenes help that we receive.   These days everybody is busy and a shared workload across such a small school really makes the process more enjoyable.

If you would like to be more involved you can volunteer to be a Year Representative or Committee Member.  Or you can simply support the team by attending PTA meetings and giving 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.

And finally, we are always extremely grateful to receive donations as mentioned before.

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.

From the Governing Body, Chair Eamonn Barrett

“The PTA is an essential part of our school.  All parents and carers are members and everyone’s contribution is highly valued.  The work of the PTA underpins the whole school.  Financial support enables us to create a richer learning environment for our children e.g. the development of the sensory garden and improvements in the library.  These would never have been happened without the incredible support of our PTA. The wide variety of social functions, allow parents to get to know one another in a more relaxed setting.  The children see their parents and the school staff working together for their benefit.  They appreciate this united effort and it adds to their feeling of security.  Our school would not be the lively and welcoming learning environment it is without the enthusiasm, commitment and hard work of our PTA.  All of us are very grateful to them.

Our Headteacher, Mrs Nayna

“I am totally overwhelmed by the support and dedication of the PTAPTA activities not only provide us with exciting social events, but also raise funds, which help to give the children such an enjoyable education, through new resources and experiences.  Our PTA has achieved so much, and I look forward to continuing this valuable partnership in the coming years”.