Who runs your PTA and who the funds raised belong to are hot topics at the moment for our membership team, so we spoke to Clare Jenner, our Membership Services Manager to answer some of these questions:
Does your PTA belong to the school?
The short answer is no, you are legally a completely separate entity. This means that you are not part of, nor governed by your child’s school (and this applies to all types of school, be it local authority, free, academy or independent). Obviously, the PTA is there to support the school, as laid out in your Objects (see later) which is why our most successful PTAs are those that that work together with the school.
Who runs the PTA?
The PTA is run by the committee members who are elected by the members at an AGM to run the association on their behalf (the members can be all parents and teachers at your school as outlined in your constitution). The Committee are responsible for the administration of the association, planning of events and for agreeing how the funds are spent. Read more on committee roles.
Where do we keep funds we raise?
Any funds raised should be kept in your PTA’s own bank account, for which you should have your own set of financial records and processes.
Do we have to ask the school what they want before we spend our funds?
You don’t have to, but we would recommend working closely with the school to make sure you are funding something the school does want or need.
Asking the school for a wish list of items can help your committee make decisions about what to buy and/or donate to the school, and ensure that those things are useful, relevant and fit the Objects of the association.
The school cannot dictate what you spend your money on, and should never assume that the PTA will buy something for them, or provide the money for something they’ve already purchased.
Can we just give the school cash to spend?
As trustees of the charity, it’s the committees responsibility to ensure the funds are spent correctly. We recommend therefore that you should only give the school cash for pre-agreed expenditure that the school issue a receipt for, explaining how the cash will be spent.
Can the school overrule our decisions on anything or close us down?
The only way that they can overrule your decision is if it’s related to your use of school property for an event. In addition, the school does not have the authority to close an association down. It is only the members that can decide this at a General meeting, following the rules of your constitution.
What are the Objects of the association?
The Objects of your association are the reason your PTA is in existence, and they should be stated in your constitution. If your PTA has used our Model Constitution, then the Objects are already stated as: ’to advance the education of the children at the school and to develop effective relationships between home and school.’
We hope you found this helpful? We have lots of information sheets on Governance in our PTA Advice hub or you can call the Membership Support Team on 0300 123 5460,or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.