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What is a PTA

What is a Parent Teacher Association (PTA)?

Many schools have a Parent Teacher Association (PTA), which is an organisation of parents and staff. Its role is to encourage closer links between home and school. PTAs are best known for their fundraising work, but they have a useful social function too. Fundraising events provide an opportunity for parents, staff and pupils to get together.

How is the PTA organised?

As with most schools, at Corstorphine, all parents/carers and teachers are automatically members of the PTA.

We hold our annual general meeting in May, towards the end of the school year. At this meeting a committee is elected to run the PTA – usually consisting of a chair, a treasurer, a secretary and ordinary committee members. Ideally there would be as many committee members as there are classes in the school (as traditionally these parents would act as 'class reps')* but over time the roles of committee members have evolved to better meet the needs of fundraising.

The PTA committee usually meets twice a term and sets up smaller working groups to organise individual events. We have templates for all our regular events which helps make planning and running the events much easier.

How is money raised?

Like most PTAs, we raise money through events. We hold one main event each school term – a social evening in the autumn, a Christmas fair in the winter, a Ceilidh in the spring, and another social event in the summer. We hold Car Boot Sales in September and May and organise bi-annual parties for the children. We have smaller fundraising incomes through uniform sales, Bags2School recycling and "easyfundraising" initiatives, but we’re always looking for new fundraising ideas.

How is money spent?

Funds raised by the PTA are intended to provide ‘extras’ not already provided by the school's main income – sometimes 'fun things' that make learning more interesting and exciting, but increasingly, important things that improve learning potential like audio-visual aids and IT equipment. The PTA committee and the headteacher decide how to spend PTA funds.

Common items include playground and sports equipment, school trips and library resources and smaller purchases such as art & craft materials.

How can I be involved in my PTA?

There are many different ways you can help with the PTA, whether you have lots of time to offer or not.

Some of the roles are time-consuming, although also rewarding. None of the jobs require special qualifications and all can be learned "on-the-job".  If you can’t commit to a big role, look out for things you are already skilled at (we have a few niche roles like treasurer, advertising, H&S assessor, newsletter editor and website manager),  or consider more adhoc support (eg running a stall at the summer fair, baking for a cake sale). And you can always support PTA events by simply turning up


* with the advent of the internet, social media and Parentmail the role of class rep has all but disappeared as a means of communication.