Spring clean your PTA shed

Take a look at your shed and make sure the contents are serviceable and fit for purpose

Our shed at Ann Edwards isn't very glamorous. But keeping it tidy and the contents well maintained is to everyone's advantage and is an important responsibility for the PTA. If you've neglected your shed for a while, the spring term is an ideal time to get things organised.

Check for unwanted visitors

Regardless of how secure your shed is, mice and other pests may have found their way in, so be prepared to encounter visitors who've found a warm place to winter and chew through the things they found. If you do find evidence of pests, speak to your site manager and call a qualified pest control operator.

All present and correct?

If you've stored large items such as tents or marquees, check for damage caused by damp or vermin. Check that any associated items such as mallets and tent pegs haven't gone astray by laying it all out. Better to do this now than struggle later. The same is true for any items with multiple parts, from barbecues to Splat the Rat.

The PTA shed isn't a good place to store foodstuffs, no matter how safe you think they are. But if you keep crockery, cutlery or food service items in there, get them out and sterilise before use.

Safety first

Our first event this year is 'Toastie Tuesday'. If your PTA owns toasters or any other electrical appliances, they'll need to be PAT tested. PAT stands for portable appliance testing – a regulatory requirement that all small appliances used in the workplace be tested on a scheduled basis. Whether this is every six months, once a year or every two years will depend on usage and the environment. A good rule of thumb is that you need to check anything with a plug. If you haven't got anyone qualified to do PAT testing on-site, it should be easy to find someone locally. Mention your status as a charitable organisation to get the best rate.

Finishing touches

When you're done surveying the contents, take a look at the exterior of the shed too. Ask yourself: does it need a lick of paint? Is it secure? Is it waterproof? I'm always happy to work with the PTA to make sure everything's in good shape, so don't be afraid to ask your site staff for their expertise if you're not sure.

Simon Hitchings, site manager at Ann Edwards C of E Primary School in Gloucestershire (235 pupils)