In praise of PTAs

Shaheen Khan
20 July, 2020 : 12:22
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Thank and Praise (TAP) is a unique social platform designed to make it easier for parents and carers to thank the Unsung Heroes working in education, while raising school funds. During the past few months, TAP has been hosting an Education Thanking Wall for everyone working in education during these challenging times. So far, hundreds of messages of appreciation have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times across our website and social media channels, thanks to interest from the BBC’s Make a Difference campaign and extensive coverage in national media.

TAP was founded last year from a simple idea; to develop a socially driven platform to say thank you to those people who regularly go beyond the call of duty.

  • It is a positive new technology solution to a very human problem. According to the Teacher Wellbeing Index 2019, 65% of staff leaving the profession stated that it was because they did not feel valued
  • While our own research on social thanking revealed that 70% of respondents said that they did not get a chance to give thanks to those that deserved it, due to lack of time or because they simply were not sure how to go about thanking school staff
  • TAP can also be used as a cohesive and succinct means of gathering positive feedback from parents, students and staff which could be used for Ofsted inspection information

Over the last twenty years working in many schools, I’ve built up a pretty good idea of what works in schools and why. Relationships are everything. The relationship between parents and school is as important as that between the pupil and teacher.

That’s why I have so much respect for parent bodies such as PTAs. They are run by selfless parent volunteers, supported by hardworking school staff. The impact of PTA support in key events throughout the year coupled with their fundraising activities is significant for schools.

According to Parentkind’s research, each year their member PTAs raise on average £8,030 per school which are mainly spent on Education Materials (85%), Playground Equipment (60%) and School Trips (54%).

Fundamentally I came into teaching in order to improve outcomes for students and I can honestly say that PTAs through their incredible ingenuity and commitment to schools more than play their part!

So, I am delighted that TAP is working with Parentkind to create a PTA Thanking Wall, allowing people across the country to pay tribute publicly to their PTAs and parent volunteers. In the same way that our traditional TAP platform benefits the wellbeing of school staff through the power of appreciation, our newly created PTA Thanking Wall aims to the do the same for volunteer parents.

I encourage everyone reading this blog to share the Thanking Wall with their school and parent networks as well as post a thank you message for someone they know who deserves recognition within your PTA.

If you’re on social media, you’ll see Parentkind and TAP using the hashtag #TAP4PTA to share this important initiative – please do join in!

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Shaheen Khan
Shaheen Khan is a headteacher and also a parent. She is also an Education Consultant for Thank and Praise (TAP), a unique social platform designed to make it easier for parents and carers to thank the unsung heroes working in education, while raising school funds.

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