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By Heather Park


MANAGING YOUR PTA – Agreeing a wish list


M


onies raised by a PTA are generally used to fund resources or experiences that enhance pupils’


education and enjoyment. This may vary in specifi cs from constitution to constitution, with some PTAs more willing to buy the necessities and some sticking to the ‘cherry on top’ goods, but whatever the criteria, how do you agree what the money is spent on? We have the answers to all your questions, from how to gather suggestions to who needs to approve them before the money is spent. So, wonder no more… and get spending!


Is the money the school’s or PTA’s to spend?


As a separate entity to the school, the PTA can spend its money as it sees fi t, as long as it’s in line with your constitution. It’s important for a PTA to take ownership of its funds and work with the


Get spending!


Money shouldn’t be left hanging around in the bank


account for too long, as parents and donors want to see the money they gave being spent to benefi t the children. Purchases will affi rm the PTA’s importance and impact on the school while boosting awareness of your cause.


school to decide what to buy,


rather than handing over a cheque to be spent as general school funds. Your committee should ensure the


money is spent


appropriately and in line with what your members and donors would


expect. As the PTA is raising money for the benefi t of the


school, it’s important to work together to achieve this. Any


suggestions made should be considered and approved by


both the PTA and the Head. Your constitution should hold the answers to managing any disagreements between school staff and the PTA committee, so it’s important to keep it up to date and relevant. An


effective PTA relies on a relationship based on mutual respect and support.


Do we have to fulfi l all requests the school makes? There is absolutely no obligation to accept all funding requests made by the school. As money is raised by the PTA, the PTA has the right to decide how it’s spent, but always keep your constitution in mind. Even though you don’t have to


Your is our command!


A lot of time and effort goes into raising funds for the PTA pot, but when it comes to spending it, how do you go about it?


fulfi l requests, as the PTA exists to support the school it should be with good reason that you turn a request down. This could be because the request doesn’t meet the criteria laid out in your constitution, for example an initiative that benefi ts only a minority of pupils (e.g. a single class workshop), or something that you believe should be covered by the general school budget, such as building maintenance. Ultimately, it’s down to the


individual PTA to decide whether the purchase should be funded by the PTA or the school itself.


What should you be funding? What defi nes PTA spending varies from school to school. Your constitution will outline exactly how you should be operating and what your primary objectives are, and therefore where the funds should be spent. Generally, funds should benefi t all


or the majority of children, whether this is immediately, e.g. playground equipment, or over time, e.g. Year 6


pta.co.uk AUTUMN 2018 21


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