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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. As in any organisation, there are times when it’s ‘challenging’, but with the continued support of parents and staff, our PTA can always succeed 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 Eynsham Community Primary School Parent, Teachers association when their children join the 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.
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 committee, 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 per term, and adhoc as required. Smaller working groups meet as necessary to organise more complicated events.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Our Annual General Meeting is held at School at the beginning of October, 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.
If you are interested in joining the committee, please do not hesitate to talk to any committee member.
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 Summer and Christmas Fayre, Quiz nights and School Disco.
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.
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/Deputy 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. 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.
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 Astroturf, wet play area and the School pool maintenance. 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 ‘wetplay’ equipment.
How We Get Information to You
From now on all PTA letters we send home will be printed on green paper – so we are easily recognised. The letters will include information on forthcoming events and dates plus requests for assistance, when we are planning large events.
Parents will also receive updates via Parentmail and the Heads Newsletters.
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.