Secondary school PTAs

Social media is a valuable tool for engaging with the parents of older children

Secondary school is very different! After years at primary school, the children are growing up, and they are expected to take on more responsibility. As a result, parents tend to be less involved in school activities, including the PTA. The reduced interaction and exposure make it challenging for the PTA to get its message out. However, secondary schools face the same resource limitations as primary schools and can still benefit from the help a PTA can provide.

Get some support

I volunteered for the PTA at my children’s primary school, which is the main feeder to their secondary, Shoeburyness High School, and part of the same academy trust. When my child started at the secondary school, I was keen to help expand the PTA. After several discussions, I was elected chair at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM). I have a great relationship with the school senior leadership team and teachers. Our headteacher is also very supportive. Without their help, we wouldn't be able to operate.

Shoeburyness High School Parents and Teachers Association has been running for years. However, we have recently gained new momentum, welcoming a new vice-chair and secretary. Our committee is made up of four members, and we have an additional 12 or so regular volunteers. We’re currently recruiting for specific roles, such as communications officer and second-hand uniform coordinator.

Since getting involved, I've created new pages for the PTA on Facebook and Instagram. I also make use of the Facebook groups set up for each year group. As face-to-face interaction is limited, social media has proved to be a valuable tool for engaging with parents, and we’ve received great feedback.

Know your audience

The biggest challenge for a secondary school PTA is to identify events that will work for the students. For example, a disco won’t appeal to Year 11. So we now hold three types of events: open events, age-specific events and adults-only events, such as quiz nights.

The summer fayre, which is open to all, was successful last year and we are planning to hold it again. One of the most popular attractions was Beat the Banana. For just 20p, visitors could shoot the ball at our banana goalie and win a bag of sweets for every goal scored. It was such a success that one of our volunteers had to rush to Asda to buy more sweets.

Widen your appeal

With a wider age range and more children, there’s scope for some exciting events. We’re already discussing this year’s Christmas market, which will be open to the whole community. I’ve been conducting a poll on social media to gauge interest in other potential events, such as a private hire of our local roller-skating rink, RollaCity.

Laura Crow, chair, Shoeburyness High School Parents and Teachers Association (1,800 pupils)


Shoeburyness High School PTA online: