What does a Chair, Treasurer or Secretary do? This short guide will help you get to grips with these vital PTA roles. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a Chair, Treasurer or Secretary, or you’re simply curious to find out what’s involved, here’s a quick guide to the three main PTA roles.

Chair

What’s the main purpose of the role?

To direct the committee’s meetings, make sure everyone is involved and their views are heard. The Chair should ensure all committee members are familiar with the constitution and their roles and responsibilities. The PTA Chair also holds the casting vote if the outcome is tied.

And the responsibilities?

These can vary drastically, depending on the size and needs of the school, but commonly include:

  • Preparing and setting the agenda for meetings
  • Setting the ground rules for – as well as chairing – meetings
  • Delegating tasks to other committee members and volunteers, checking they’re completed and offering support where needed
  • Liaising with the school
  • Ensuring the committee is governed in line with their constitution
  • Ensuring any decisions are made correctly and fit the objectives of the association as set out in the constitution
  • Writing the Chair’s report for the AGM
  • The Chair may also be a signatory on the PTA bank account

What qualities does a good Chair usually have?

  • Confidence – with the ability to inspire and guide others
  • Assertiveness – able to manage meetings
  • The ability to remain impartial and be inclusive
  • A calm, friendly and approachable manner
  • Organisational skills – able to manage multiple projects
  • The ability to delegate – so the workload is shared – and tasks are completed

I’ve become a whizz at event management and have learned how to use lots of new tools like Canva, not to mention knowledge of legal aspects like constitutions, charities and GDPR. I know it stood me in good stead when I applied for a new job, and I have provided references for other members of my team – the skills you need to run a PTA are extremely transferable.

Caroline Hayward, Chair

The Treasurer

What’s the main purpose of the role?

To ensure accurate financial records are kept and that best practice procedures are followed when counting money, making payments and banking. The Treasurer should keep your committee updated with regular reports and ensure end-of-year reports are completed for the association’s AGM. If your PTA is a registered charity, they will also be required to coordinate the Charity Commission’s annual return.

And the responsibilities?

  • These vary from committee to committee but generally they include:
  • Keeping accurate and up-to-date financial records
  • Presenting financial updates at each committee meeting 
  • Managing the PTA bank account and holding the association cheque book/​debit card 
  • Monitoring and managing online payment platforms 
  • Preparing floats
  • Ensuring best practice procedures are followed for counting and banking money, making payments and claiming expenses by all committee members
  • Making any approved payments on the committee’s behalf 
  • Preparing the annual Treasurer’s report for the AGM and arranging an independent examination of the association’s accounts 
  • Completing the relevant Charity Commission’s annual return if your PTA is registered as a charity 
  • Managing Gift Aid (or assists the committee member responsible) 

What qualities does a good Treasurer usually have?

  • Knowledge of finances
  • Organised
  • Attentive to detail
  • Able to meet deadlines
  • A good understanding of spreadsheets or accountancy software

As Treasurer, I oversee all income and expenditures for the organisation. I manage any requests that come in from the school, although I don’t make the decisions myself. Everything is discussed by the committee and if something is approved, I’ll make sure transactions are completed, bills are paid and money is banked. I’ve been doing a lot of grant applications as well, and generally trying to make the hopes and dreams of the school come true.

Nicky Ruddick, Treasurer for Friends of Ainderby Steeple School

The Secretary

What’s the main purpose of the role?

Supporting the PTA committee to build effective communication links between the school and the association. They also maintain accurate records.

And the responsibilities?

These vary from committee to committee, but generally include:

  • Preparing for meetings (with the PTA Chair)
  • Taking minutes at meetings, recording attendance, action points, decisions and proposals
  • Circulating approved minutes, along with a reminder of any actions agreed
  • Maintaining association records
  • Making sure the association is GDPR-compliant
  • Updating trustee details with relevant charity commission (as appropriate)
  • May be a signatory on the PTA bank account (along with at least one other committee member)
  • Handling the association’s correspondence

What qualities does a good Secretary have?

  • Organised and efficient – keeps accurate records in a format that can easily be handed over to a successor
  • Good listener – able to identify key discussion points, actions, and agreements at meetings to accurately record in minutes
  • Calm, friendly, and approachable – able to communicate confidently with the school and the committee members

My primary focus has been effectively communicating our events to parents and caregivers, ensuring they are well-informed about the activities organised by the PTA. Additionally, by widely circulating our meeting minutes, providing greater accessibility, offering everyone a clearer understanding of the valuable contributions and initiatives undertaken by the PTA.

Clare Snelson, Secretary for Beckers Green Primary School PTA