FAQs on Annual General Meetings (AGMs)
Your PTA has an obligation to hold an AGM once a year,
and all members of the association - parents, carers and staff at
your school - should be invited to attend... whether they turn up
is another matter!
Here we offer some suggestions for enticing people along, and
provide the answers to some of the most commonly asked AGM
Does an AGM have to be held, and what is its purpose?
Yes, an AGM has to be held once a year and all members of the
association should be invited to attend. This is the main way
members hold the committee to account for its running of the
association. Typically there is a report made by the treasurer on
the funds raised and how these have been spent. The chair will
highlight successes, thank those who have been involved and
indicate what is planned for the next year. It is usual for all
members of the committee to stand down at the AGM but they can seek
When should an AGM be held?
Obviously once a year, which means the timing for future AGMs
will mainly be determined by when the last meeting happened.
Typically an AGM is held either towards the end or at the beginning
of the school year. This is a good point in time to review what has
happened and to recruit new committee members.
How do we call an AGM?
It is best practice to give at least 21 days' written notice of
an AGM to all members of the association. The PTA constitution
should specify the minimum notice period and how this should be
given. This notice should explain the purpose of the AGM, give the
order of business and include a reply slip seeking nominations for
election to the committee. TIP: Use all means
available to notify members, including the school newsletter,
Facebook, noticeboards, letters in book bags, posters on classroom
doors and school-to-home email system.
How many people have to attend an AGM?
The PTA constitution should specify the number of attendees
required for the AGM. As a general guide, the number of AGM
attendees should be twice the number of committee members or more:
if your association has five committee members, then at least ten
members of the association must attend (although this can include
committee members as they are also members of the
association). TIP: If your association is
struggling to get enough attendees, try making this into a social
occasion. Hold it as part of a cheese and wine night or combine it
with another successful PTA event. An AGM needn't take long and
could easily be held in an event interval, however best practice
would be to not charge a ticket price for entry to an event which
includes an AGM - you wouldn't want people to feel excluded based
How can we boost attendance at our AGM?
- Make sure everyone knows the date as far in advance as
- Ideally combine the AGM with a school event such as a
six-weeks-in meeting in October, where pupils can show their
parents their new classrooms!
- Ask your head to promote the benefits of the PTA and encourage
attendance at the AGM.
- An AGM sounds dull and official, so explain that the meeting
will be kept brief (we heard of one PTA who managed to cover
everything in seven minutes!).
- Can you run the AGM prior to an event, such as 'Annual Groove
Mania' with a family disco? Make the event free to attend and run
it on a bring-your-own refreshments basis to keep organisation to a
minimum. Providing wine and nibbles can also work well.
- Ask committee members and class reps to each bring two people
Do all committee members have to stand down at an AGM?
Usually committee members are elected for a year and then they
stand down at the next AGM There is nothing to prevent them from
standing again, but they would need to be re-elected.
How are committee members elected?
The best way to do this is to have a vote of those present at
the meeting, with each person standing needing to secure a majority
of the votes cast. Where this is competitive, it is a good idea for
those standing to leave the room whilst the vote happens. Usually a
show of hands is sufficient but if it is close and contentious it
may be better to conduct a written ballot with the results being
carefully recorded. The PTA constitution will specify how committee
members should be elected.
How many committee members are required?
It is usual to have at least a PTA chair, treasurer and
secretary in addition to other members of the committee. Whilst
many hands make light work, remember that you will need to have
twice the number of committee members attend an AGM and that this
might be difficult if the committee is large. PTA+ research shows
that a typical committee has between 8-15 members.
TIP: If you are having difficulty recruiting
committee members think about job-sharing roles or targeting
specific members. Enlist the support of your head teacher to
explain to parents the importance of the PTA. Start recruiting
early and target new parents joining the school.
Can nominations for committee member roles be accepted at the
Ideally, nominations should be received in advance of the AGM,
to reassure the committee that enough people will be stepping
forward. However, there is nothing to prevent nominations made at
the AGM from being accepted.
What happens if our chair can't attend the AGM?
It isn't a requirement that the chair must attend the AGM,
indeed another committee member can be chosen to chair the AGM.
However, if the process of selecting someone to deputise for the
chair is in anyway contentious, take a formal vote, counting and
recording the results carefully.
What is a constitution?
This is the document that details the rules and regulations by
which the association should be run (also called the governing
document). All PTAs should have a constitution. Parentkind offers its members a model
constitution which embodies best practice for PTAs. The Charity
Commission also provides guidance on preparing a governing document.
How can I find a copy of our constitution?
If this isn't in the files of the association it may be
available from the Charity Commission for England and Wales.
Registered charities have to provide a copy for registration. If
your PTA is registered (check the register of charities), contact the Charity
Commission to see if it is able to provide a copy (0845 300
The above is
intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the
relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal,
health and safety and child protection requirements. Community
Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or
actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.
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