Label P LB J20

Secretary: Woodcote High School

Helen Carew, Woodcote High School, Coulsdon, Surrey (1,200 pupils)

Your PTA

  • How many people are there on your committee? 12 members
  • How long have you been Chair? 4-5 years
  • When is your busiest time of year? Summer and Christmas events, as there's so much to do
  • When is your quietest time of year? Spring, as we don't hold many events during this time
  • How does your role complement the Chair's? The Chair and I work together to arrange dates for future meetings and event dates. 
  • What challenges/difficulties do you face? A lack of support from the school.

Tips and advice

  • What's the best piece of advice you received before taking on the role of Secretary? I didn't receive any, but I did receive plenty of advice via PTA+ Magazine and their website!
  • What advice will you pass on to your successor? The role is hard work but rewarding!
  • What have you personally gained from being Secretary? I've met new friends, raised money, and seen where the money is spent.
  • What is the best thing about being Secretary on your PTA? Socially it's very beneficial.
  • What do you think makes a good PTA Secretary? Availability to help!


  • How regularly do you have meetings with your committee? Every four to six weeks
  • How do you go about monitoring whether action points are being completed between meetings? We discuss this at the following meeting.
  • What have you found is the most effective way of communicating with parents? I manage the committee-related communication by email, and the school sends out emails/texts to pupils' parents advertising our events. This has worked really well for us!

Stepping down

  • How long do you intend on being Secretary? I am resigning at our next AGM
  • How long did you plan on being Secretary when you started, and has this changed since taking on the role? I am happy with the length of time I have been Secretary, but my concern is that I am too involved with the events side of things.
  • Did you shadow the previous Secretary before taking on the role? There wasn't a previous Secretary when I took on the role.
  • Do you intend on having your successor shadow you in the role, before you step down? Yes, I am happy for my successor to shadow me for a couple of weeks.

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