What is it?
Unlike regular meetings, the AGM is about how your association is run. Once a year, all members are invited to find out what’s been happening and review how things are done. The chair will usually highlight achievements and indicate plans for the year while the treasurer reports on where funds came from and how they’ve been spent. The AGM is also when members vote for a new committee and make any amendments to the constitution.
To call an AGM, you need to give notice to all members of the association. Not sure exactly who that is, or how much notice to give? It’s all written in your constitution.
Alongside details about when and where, the notice should explain what the meeting is about, give the order of business and ask for any additions to the agenda. Committee members usually stand down at the AGM, although they can seek re-election. Make it clear how nominations for election to the committee should be made.
Notice can be given in a variety of ways: a letter in book bags, an email, posts on social media or a poster on the PTA notice board. Experiment with a combination – demonstrate you’ve tried to reach all members. If it’s being held online, ask people to contact you for the link rather than making it public.
6 ways to sell it
1 Combine the AGM with a school event, such as parents’ evening, if they are being held face-to-face.
2 If your AGM is online, promote the benefits: members can attend from home and no childcare is needed. Specify if a glass of wine is appropriate!
3 Ask your head to attend and to sing the PTA’s praises in the school newsletter beforehand.
4 Explain that the meeting will be kept brief and plan some fun for afterwards.
5 Tie the AGM in with a PTA event, such as a family disco or picnic. Make the event free to attend and keep it simple by asking everyone to bring their own food and drink.
6 Avoid holding an AGM anywhere that requires money – the pub seems like a great idea, but having to buy a drink might put people off.
You’ll need an agenda
- Welcome: a short hello.
- Apologies for absence: list those who aren’t able to attend and have sent apologies.
- Approve the minutes of the previous AGM: circulate the minutes and seek approval
- Matters arising: anything outstanding from last year’s AGM.
- Chair's report: an informal report on the year. The chair’s report isn’t a requirement, but is useful for members, especially anyone new.
- Treasurer’s report: a formal report on the association’s finances.
- Adoption of the accounts: Agreement that the accounts give a fair view of the PTA’s finances.
- Committee elections: Voting for positions on the committee.
If there are no nominations, you can ask at the AGM if anyone would like to stand.
Keep reports short and to the point and allow time for questions at the end.
Chair’s report: An informal introduction which may:
- Explain how the PTA is run
- Highlight key successes from the past year
- Explain how fundraising was affected by Covid
- Demonstrate how the PTA has benefited pupils
- Thank those who went the extra mile
- Reveal what’s planned for the year
- Explain how people can get involved and list any specific skills that are needed.
Treasurer’s report: A formal presentation of the accounts for the past year including:
- The opening balance of the bank account at the start of the previous year
- The amount raised for the year broken down by activity
- Any costs incurred during the year
- A list of what was bought for the school
- Information on how your accounts were examined and by whom
- The current bank balance
- Appointing an independent examiner.
Choose a venue: You can hold an AGM anywhere, but be mindful of confidentiality and free and easy access. Or hold it online.
Prep the venue: Make sure there are enough chairs for the amount of people expected. Find out where the heating and lighting controls are situated. Check facilities work and that volunteers know how to use them.
Presentation: Make sure any tech needed for presentations is working and fully charged. Check you have enough printouts of documents such as financial statements. If your AGM is online, test the meeting first if you’re not sure how it all works. Check you know how to screen share and post files in the chat.
Quorum: The minimum number of members required to attend the AGM is called a quorum. Without enough attendees, decisions made won’t be valid. Your constitution should state how many people are required.
If not enough people come: Wait and hope more people arrive, call a few loyal supporters and try to drum up extra interest, or postpone until another day.
Class reps: If you’re struggling for attendees, ask all class reps to come along and bring two people each.
Minutes: The secretary should take minutes that correspond with the agenda items. Keep the minutes brief and record decisions made alongside actions agreed. Recording your online AGM can be helpful for accuracy, but make sure everyone knows about, and consents to, the recording. Ask attendees to put their names in the chat box and request cameras be switched on.
Voting: Every member at the AGM has one vote on each issue. If voting is tied, the chair will usually have the casting vote. Typically, voting is by a show of hands but can be by ballot, if secrecy is required.
Postponement: If you need to postpone, adjourn or cancel because of Covid-19, follow the rules in your constitution. If there’s nothing specified, agree on a course of action and record the reasons. See gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector for more information.
Send new committee details to the school and your supporters, with photos if possible.
Encourage new committee members to ask questions and make it clear how they should go about it.
Ask new committee members to complete a Trustee Declaration form.
Update the Charity Commission website with details of the new trustee(s).
Update details on social media and any other schemes.