Although chair, treasurer and secretary are the three most common named committee roles, sometimes these are split further to spread the workload. Breaking down roles gives more people the chance to take part, and is especially helpful when you're struggling to find volunteers with time to commit to a bigger role. They vary from committee to committee depending on the skills of members, but might include some of the below.
- Main PTA committee roles and responsibilities
- Becoming a charity trustee
- Find out about the skills in your school community
Raffle and sponsorship coordinator
The main focus of this role is to contact businesses and individuals to see how they can support the school, be it with raffle prizes, sponsorship, volunteering or anything else. They will also make sure licensing is up to date, arrange raffle ticket printing, coordinate the selling of tickets and distribute prizes.
A stores officer is in charge of the PTA stores, which includes keeping an inventory and making sure items are stored properly and safely. This means the PTA doesn't spend money on things it already owns, items are used before they go out of date and the PTA store never ends up as an overwhelming mess no-one wants to tackle!
A grants secretary's role is to research and apply for grants. This involves working with the school and committee to establish what needs funding, finding grants that are suitable for your school, gathering evidence and writing applications. Writing skills are crucial and a fundraising background would be beneficial.
Year group reps are a visible point of contact between parents and the PTA. They can help to spread messages more locally and mean the rest of the committee isn't spreading itself too thin in reaching out to the community. It also means all year groups are represented. Year reps are key in securing volunteers for events.
A publicity officer handles all of the PTA's publicity for events, activities and fundraising initiatives. This includes the PTA website, emails, social media, posters, flyers and banners. It may also involve liaising with the local press and writing press releases. Good writing and design skills are vital to ensure your advertising material is engaging and exciting.
A monthly school lottery or 100 club is a simple way to have a steady flow of income. It can be the responsibility of one person to set it up, promote it to the community, organise and oversee payments and draw the monthly winner.
Second-hand uniform coordinator
Second-hand sales are great moneymakers while providing a service to parents and preventing waste. A second-hand uniform coordinator takes in unwanted uniform, washes it, mends it (if necessary) and then sells it on.
Bake sale coordinator
A bake sale coordinator organises the dates and timings of your fundraising sales and seeks cake donations. They ensure sales are run safely and hygienically and coordinate the collection of product donations on the day. They may also make some themselves, with the cost of ingredients usually being covered by PTA funds.
Putting it into practice
'This was my first year as chair, and we've introduced a lot of changes, including rolling out the Classlist app, reactivating our social media pages and producing a termly newsletter. We felt the best way to deal with the additional workload was to allocate new committee roles. We introduced a ticket ambassador to manage all ticket sales, including those made online, and allocate and distribute tickets. Our social media ambassador deals with all social media platform updates and posts, and our newsletter ambassador collects all the information and compiles each newsletter. This has made things more organised and means that it isn't left to the chair to do all three jobs in one. Our committee has welcomed these changes and roles, as they give more people the chance to have a structured role in the committee and show off their different strengths.'
Zarifa Dewey, chair, St. Aidan's School Association, St. Aidan's Primary School, Coulsdon, Surrey (220 pupils)
Assist the big three
While all of these roles help relieve the workload of the main roles and keep the PTA running smoothly, there are some specific jobs that work more closely with the chair, treasurer and secretary.
Vice/co-chair: The vice or co-chair can support the chair in their role and also take over in their absence. The role involves working closely with the chair in their work, including running meetings, encouraging volunteer participation and organising events.
Assistant treasurer: An assistant treasurer is a huge help in making sure money is stored safely during and after events. They can work with the treasurer during big events, with one person going around and skimming the big notes from the floats and the other guarding the money.
Communications secretary: A communications secretary relieves some of the secretary's workload by taking on the communications aspect of their role. This includes being in charge of the PTA's online accounts, which may include Facebook and Twitter, plus emails, newsletters and noticeboards.
Having too many named roles can mean more people need to attend your meeting for it to be quorate, as a certain number of named roles have to be there.
It's all too easy for talented parents who are perfect for these roles to slip under the radar, which is why we've created our parents' questionnaire. Get parents to fill it in and find out all about their skills, connections and opinions of the PTA. Discover which job roles might suit them, whether they are employed by a company that offers match funding, sponsorship or raffle prizes, and what events they would be interested in attending.