While losing experienced committee members can seem daunting, new recruits bring fresh ideas and inject an abundance of energy into your PTA. For recruitment strategies, see our succession planning feature.
Put all key information onto a couple of USB pen sticks to be handed over to the new chair/secretary/treasurer and/or the head teacher. This pack should include:
- Minutes of meetings
- Insurance summary (and Parentkind (formerly PTA-UK) membership details)
- Charity registration details (if applicable)
- Contact details for committee members (noting those who have DBS checks and/or first aid certificates)
- Contact details for volunteers, local businesses and other supporters
- Details of volunteers with first aid certificates
- Details of parents who can access match funding or the companies themselves
- Details of suppliers - such as raffle ticket printers, or wholesalers such as Booker (including membership card)
- Licences (i.e. lottery licence for raffles)
- Guarantees for PTA-owned equipment
- Equipment servicing/testing (i.e. electrical items need to undergo an annual PAT test)
Provide a calendar of school activities that the PTA usually gets involved with over the year. This might include serving refreshments at the Christmas carol concert, giving a talk at the new starters' evening in the summer term (a great recruiting opportunity for new volunteers!), etc. Note any expiry or renewal dates for things like your annual lottery licence, insurance or when your annual return needs to be filed with the Charity Commission (if applicable). When do you hold committee meetings and your AGM - and how far in advance do you need to give notice?
It is best practice to have two authorised signatories on cheques and direct debits, so make sure everyone knows who yours are. An independent annual audit should also be carried out and annual accounts kept for a minimum of six years. Are there any financial commitments, such as maintenance contracts, that need to be flagged up?
Cast your mind back to the beginning of your stint on the PTA committee... what sort of handover did you receive? Which bits of key information do you wish you had been given? All the notes you make, however small, will be invaluable for future committee members trying to get to grips with what has been done before and the lessons you've learned along the way!
- Detailed event information - from who DJs at discos and how much they charge, to where you buy burgers from for the summer fair,
- Ongoing fundraising initiatives i.e recycling schemes, 100 club, shopping affiliate schemes (Yellow Moon, Able & Cole, etc) - who manages each of these and how often?
- Templates and letters, including sign-in sheets for school discos and raffle donation request letters,
- Risk assessments - it's much easier to review and amend these each year than start them from scratch!
- Knowledge capsules/feedback documents following events,
- Details of raffle and auction prize donors and donations as well as sponsors and sponsorship,
- 'About our PTA' letters/flyers.
In the interests of drumming up as much support for your PTA as possible, communication is key. Whether you're trying to sell tickets for the next quiz night, or want parents to sign up to a shopping affiliate site, you need as many different ways of communicating as possible! If you have a noticeboard, who updates the information and how often? If you have a section in the school's monthly newsletter, what's the deadline for providing details for inclusion and who should this be sent to? If letters to parents need to be approved by the school before being distributed, who needs to see these and how long do you need to allow? If you have a PTA website, or you use social media channels, who are your administrators and what are the log-in details and passwords?
The more information you can provide, the less time and effort new committee members will waste trying to grapple with the basics and the more time and effort they can put into the fun stuff! In an ideal world, your handover pack will be broken down into different events, providing the foundations of the event. For example, if someone new takes over running the children's disco they know:
- What timings work best and why,
- What food is usually provided, where this is bought and how much it costs,
- Who your DJ is, what they charge and any stipulations/previous comments about playlists/inappropriate music,
- Any licensing requirements (i.e. PRS for Music, etc),
- Details of teachers/TAs who usually help or DBS-checked volunteers...
- Previous risk assessments and a letter to parents with food permission slip, etc.
By passing on the knowledge and experience you have acquired in your time on the PTA, you can step away confident that you are leaving the PTA in good hands. By saving the new team from doing all the groundwork, they can pick up where you have left off and focus their efforts on reaching new heights of fundraising success - and provide memorable experiences for the children at the school.
Download the PTA handover pack checklist below
When handing over contact details, be mindful of data protection regulations.
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.