Improve PTA meetings
It's no surprise that one of the most common complaints
from PTA members on our Facebook groups is how to get more people
to come along to committee meetings.
While many parents may seem keen to get involved, for some it
can be difficult to attend meetings due to work and home
commitments. But for any organisation to work effectively, members
need to be able to get together in order to make important
decisions and tackle issues as a group. So how can you encourage
more people to attend?
Face to face
Among the PTAs we spoke to, the general consensus is that
evening meetings work best. Typically these are held on school
premises, but some have found that holding the meeting in a
local pub encourages more people to come along as they prefer the
more informal atmosphere.
Be mindful that most attendees won't want a late night, so
for evening meetings it's crucial to stick to your agenda.
Discussions can quickly go off-topic (particularly if you're in the
pub!) and you do run the risk of new members being put off by a
To avoid this, some PTAs now hold their meetings straight after
school. If parents are picking children up anyway, it's not too
much to ask for them to stick around for a meeting. On
Facebook, Vicky Thompsett says: 'We had always held our
meetings in the evening but we recently held one straight
after school with the children going into the after-school club for
free. It was a huge success and we had no spare seats!'
Take it online
With more and more of our daily communication taking place
digitally rather than face to face, should PTAs consider holding
online meetings? This would resolve any childcare issues and might
also encourage less confident members to share their opinions with
the group. Skype and Google Hangouts are effective platforms for
group chats and conference calls, but Facebook is clearly the
favourite for PTAs. Whether you have a group for all school
parents, or a smaller group for PTA members only, it's a great
platform for sharing ideas, but could it host a
meeting? Liz Newmarch from Ysgol Nannerch VC Primary
School in Mold, thinks so. 'We are a small primary
school with supportive but busy parents so we recently held a
"virtual PTA meeting" on Facebook one evening. The committee posted
various questions/topics/polls for parents to engage with. All
parents could see what was being discussed so it was a very open
and transparent "meeting". Parents could comment at a later date if
they couldn't make that time. There were no minutes to type up and
it's been easier to chase up action points because we just check
the comments and add a reminder.'
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