Parent Teacher Association-PTA
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 many 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 staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. 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 the PTA when their child joins our school.
Role of the Committee and the Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Our PTA Committee consists of three Officers: Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We also have several ordinary Committee members which make up the full Committee. The Committee meet on a regular basis usually once or twice per term but a lot of our organisation and communication is done via email. For your information a list of current PTA Committee members is at the back of this booklet. If you are interested in joining the Committee please do not hesitate to email us and we can give you some more information.
Our Annual General Meeting is held 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.
We also have a growing list of volunteers who commit some of their time to helping the Committee, for example preparing a game or stall for a fayre, wrapping grotto gifts and prizes, manning a stall during an event or giving an hour to help serve food and drink. We ask people who would like to help occasionally to go on our helpers email list. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the list.
How we raise money
Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. In past years we have organised:
End of term discos/Quiz and Bingo Nights/A Casino Night/A Pamper evening
A Talent show Summer and Christmas Fayres
Sponsored events for the children Second hand school uniform sales
Bag2school and Cash 4 coins collections Christmas cards, tea towels and school calendars
You can see there is always something going on! We always try and respond to the children’s requests; it is great to see them having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that the PTA has donated.
We raise money in other ways too. Donations from parents are extremely important. You can donate time, money, items for sale, raffle prizes or offers of services and skills.
Our PTA is a registered charity (number 1112336). 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. If you would like to see a copy of the constitution, please contact one of the Committee members.
Being a registered charity enables the PTA to:-
- receive charitable donations from local and national companies
- apply to grant-making charitable trusts; most charitable trusts will give grants only to groups formally recognised as charities
- receive donations made through payroll giving and company matched giving schemes
- apply for Gift Aid.
Company matched giving
As our PTA is a registered charity, we are also able to raise money through company matched giving schemes. 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. We have been helped enormously in the past by this type of donation, and there are several benefits to both ourselves and the company involved:
- employees’ morale is boosted by having their efforts supported by their employer
- the company benefits from having charitable donations written off against taxable profits
- the company can endeavour to get publicity for their giving
- our PTA benefits from receiving perhaps double what we have raised at an event
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 members, or ask in the school office.
This is our version of the lottery! For £1 per number, per month you are entered into a monthly draw to win a prize of either £20 (1st prize) or £10 (2nd prize) and at Christmas we have 2 special draws of £25. To join, fill in a form today and we will do the rest!
Background Fundraisers : The Giving Machine and My Name Tags
If you shop online, please set up an account with the Giving Machine at www.thegivingmachine.com; choose Thorn Grove as your beneficiary and connect to your usual websites to make your purchases via the Giving Machine. For every transaction, the school receives a percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you!
We also receive cash back from www.MyNameTags.com by using school code 24583.
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. Usually, the head will have a ‘wish list’ of items that the school would like the PTA to consider funding. 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.
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.
Of course there have been times when we have been fundraising for a large project. Most recently we helped fund the play equipment on the field and the shelter/canopy for the Key Stage 2 playground.
At the back of this booklet are the amounts raised from recent events – we think you will be impressed!
PTA newsletters are sent out at least termly via Schoolcomms. They include information on forthcoming events and dates plus requests for assistance etc. Following a PTA event, we always let you know how much was raised, and if we can, we tell you what the money will be spent on. PTA information is also posted on the school notice boards which are situated on the wall leading to the main entrance of the school.
You can contact us in a number of ways:
- The PTA mailbox is situated just to the right of the school office window. You can post us a note, return forms and make donations using this mailbox.
- You can email us at: PTA@thorngrove.herts.sch.uk
- We are also now on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thorngrovepta) and Twitter (@thorngrove_pta). Like and follow us to get all the news!
How you can get involved
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the PTA. Please join our helps list if you can as 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. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the behind the scenes help that we receive.
If you would like to be more involved you can 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. Finally, we are always extremely grateful to receive donations as mentioned before.
There is brief questionnaire at the back of this pack to fill in and return if you are able to help in any way, no matter how small. Don’t forget to include an email address if possible.
Thank you for taking the time to read our booklet. We hope you now know a little more about your Parent Teacher Association. On behalf of all the pupils we would like to thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experience and makes their time in school so enjoyable.
From all the PTA Committee
To send an e-mail to the PTA PTA@thorngrove.herts.sch.uk