PTA diversity checklist

Anna Scott reveals how to make your PTA an inclusive space where everyone is welcome

First steps

Educate yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Start conversations in your PTA about diversity and inclusion. What can you do to improve your existing approach?

Find out who makes up your school community and compare it with the PTA. If there's a difference, why might that be and how can you address it?

Following on

Ask for feedback from parents, carers and staff on your PTA's approach to diversity and inclusion.

Be open to constructive criticism and suggestions.

Set a time to start conversations safely and respectfully with people outside of the PTA.

Ask people what challenges they face and adjust your focus to better meet these needs.

Remember that while it is important for those with different life experiences to learn from one another, it is also not the responsibility of minority groups to provide all the answers. The majority groups need to educate themselves and offer solutions.

Practical ideas

Write a statement declaring that you do not tolerate discrimination and harassment in your PTA. Make this statement public.

Begin meetings with a reminder of your PTA's commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Liaise with the head teacher. What steps are being taken by the school? What can your PTA do to support their work?

Hold PTA meetings at different times throughout the year to make them more inclusive to people who work daytime or evenings.

Make resources available to help everyone understand your mission.

Make events inclusive.

Don't be afraid to try something different. It may draw a new crowd.

Give a free raffle ticket to everyone so that each person can join in.

Encourage parents who can give more to donate extra resources on behalf of families who can't.

Make sure free tickets are available for events but allocated anonymously by the school.

Give plenty of notice for events so they can be budgeted for and that childcare can be arranged.

 

Resources

  • Information on creating diversity policies for small groups

resourcecentre.org.uk/information/equality-and-diversity-policies-for-small-groups

  • White Supremacy And Me by Layla F Saad. An accessible book and personal anti-racism tool

laylafsaad.com/meandwhitesupremacy

  • What does my headscarf mean to you? A TED talk by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

ted.com/talks/yassmin_abdel_magied_what_does_my_headscarf_mean_to_you?