To help you get off to a flying start in September I've put together an handy PTA checklist. Don’t forget to tell everyone (especially new parents) about what you do and involve them in planning what you will do. Try splitting up and sharing the tasks across the committee:
⬜ 👥 Have a handover
If a key committee member is stepping down, make sure they handover any important information to keep things running smoothly for example bank details or logins. See our handover checklist to make sure you have everything covered.
⬜ 📞 Update your committee details
To stay in touch about your membership you’ll need to let us know if your committee has changed. Your Key Contact can log in and do this in their account online or call our friendly Member Support Line on 0300 123 5460.
⬜ 👋 Reach out early to parents
If mums and dads understand how what you do benefits every child in the school they may be more inclined to support. Get this message out early on, when parents are at their most enthusiastic, and remind them that a little help can go a long way. Why not run a survey to find out what they care about the most, and what they’d like the PTA to support? It will help inform your planning and meetings coming up. Remind them that it’s their PTA – all families are automatically part of the PTA when they join the school so why not help to make it a success?
⬜ 🎯 Set goals for the year ahead
Take stock and set some goals – did you achieve what you wanted to last year? Will you be fundraising for a specific amount or project? How will you engage even more mums, dads, carers and grandparents?
⬜ 🚪 Hold an open meeting as soon as possible
Holding a relaxed meeting at the beginning of term is a great opportunity to demonstrate the value you add to the school, meet new parents, and attract volunteers or supporters. Think about the venue carefully – would a local pub or café attract more people or is the school hall best? Read more about PTA meetings.
⬜ 😊 Make the first move with new parents
Parents joining the school community for the first time are often the most enthusiastic about getting involved so why not take advantage of this opportunity and send out some information about your PTA? Get in touch with any parents who expressed interest at your welcome meeting. Give them a support reply slip to find out how they would like to get involved.
⬜ 📆 Fix dates in the diary
Once you’ve agreed on your major events, and after consulting with the school, it’s good to fix important dates in the diary as soon as possible and let everyone know!
⬜ 📣 Announce your AGM
Not all PTAs run their AGM in the autumn but if yours is coming up find out what day and time works best for your whole school community and make this as accessible to as many as possible. Main AGM business can be wrapped up in as little as 15 minutes, so if you are likely not to get the numbers along, tag it to a larger event and make the most of a captive audience. Read more about running your AGM.
⬜ 💬 Talk about what you do
Let parents know about the type of parent group you have, what it has done for the school and how new parents can get involved. Talk about the benefits beyond fundraising such as supporting parents with uniform, building a school community and ensuring a parent voice when decisions are made. This flyer is a great way to demonstrate the value of your PTA too: Six reasons why your PTA really matters.
⬜ 📲 Use every way to communicate
Spread the word with all communications – posters, notice board, book bags, email, social media and website. Some people may only be connected in one way, so use as many routes as you can to make sure you reach as many people as possible. Why not explore setting up class reps to help reach everyone too? Here's our quick guide to communication.
⬜ 📌 Update or create a PTA noticeboard
Make a presence in your school community and keep people informed with an eye-catching noticeboard. Speak with the school about a space you can make use of. One of your committee could be responsible for keeping it updated. Visit Pinterest for ideas. Photos of committee members and class reps work wonders. Visit Pinterest for ideas.
⬜ 🎆Advertise your events
Set up a poster or flyer to advertise your events coming up. We know there are lots of events that happen in the autumn so get the word out early and people can plan their time. Visit the member-only PTA resources for autumn event posters and more.
⬜ 💷 Start a totaliser
A fun way to visually share your progress in your community, encourage support and visually keep track of your goals. Kids can get involved in filling it in or building it too. See our Facebook chat for some ideas and download our fundraising thermometer poster here.
⬜ 💻 Get up to speed on non-event fundraising
Tell everyone about other fundraising opportunities like easyfundraising or any commercial offers they can take up to support your group. Visit our partner offers.
⬜ 🌟 If you don't ask...
Think about what skills or resources you might need, and ask people directly if they can help. Maybe one parent has experience writing grant applications or is hot on marketing. Could your fellow parents to see if their employers could offer match funding this year?
Don't forget if your PTA is a member of Parentkind, you can access the Advice Hub with information on things like running your AGM and meetings, as well as posters, flyers and other templates in our PTA resources.
Have a great September and beyond!
Our blog is a place for a range of opinions and debate on parents and their role in their schools and their children’s education. Whilst we think this debate is really important, we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.