FAO parents of primary/secondary school aged children

this is a serious thread, please don’t be a dickhead.

i would like to know what you know about Parent Teacher Associations. how they work, what they do, good examples, bad examples, you know. especially how they’re working right now (remotely with coronavirus).

this is for the benefit of an interview I have, so it would be really good to hear from you! thank u!

Our kids current school doesn’t have one.

The previous one had a really active one which regularly put on events to raise money for the school.

This would include things like Summer fest, winter fest. They’d set up stalls in the playground selling ice lollies out of an esky. They did a salsa night (not sure if it was regular or a one off). All sorts really. Raising money for playground equipment and that kind of thing.

I don’t know much about the internals cause neither of us joined but it seemed a little cliquey and run a bit like a mafia and something maybe not for your interview:

apparently the meetings in the pub often ended up as massive coke binges

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I ended up on the school committee because I thought it was the PTA. Now I’m stuck in a monthly meeting where finances, child safeguarding, staffing policies and zoning issues are discussed by people who know what they’re talking about and I just wait til everyone votes and go along with the majority. They desparately need new members and I’m the only male which they always go on about so I’d feel a bit shit about leaving it but christ it’s a bore.

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I’ve been added to the PTA group on whatsapp but only because I know someone with an older kid who added me - the school doesn’t coordinate telling people about it so no one out of the 60 kids in reception even knows the group exists. They’re not doing much at the moment, I was hoping to find out about them before school began as they run second hand uniform sales which would have been a lifesaver for me before she started if friends hadn’t have helped me out. At the moment that’s all the group seems to talk about anyway, ‘anyone got a shirt in this size’.

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When I tutored these kids from a private school the mum added me to the pta group chat and it was a lot of fundraising stuff, bake sales etc, they had quiz nights and was really cliquey and sanctimonious, seemed the same few mums telling everyone what to do and I didn’t like it tbh, if I was a parent I would have steered clear

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This is very similar to our school - they seem really good, I know a few people who are always involved but I’ve never met a confirmed member of the PTA, like the mafia as you say! Pre-Covid they did tonnes, must have raised a fortune. I haven’t seen anything from them this term yet, but it’s early days.

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Oh yeah and the one at previous school was called the PTFA and I’m still not sure what the F means. Friends maybe?