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 Post subject: PTAs at secondary level
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:51 pm
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I went along to a meeting the other day and am quite amazed at the apathetic nature of the parents at HBS. Only 10 Yr7 parents said they'd turn up, and in the event only 4 made it (mind you, kudos to them - only 2 of us had their own transport). I get the impression that the PTA nearly decided to fold quite recently. Bizarrely, the school are not very supportive of the PTA and have given instructions that the PTA should avoid fund-raising, as the school would prefer that their official Centenary Appeal (which I personally think is a little amateurish) had no competition! Are all secondary schools like this? After having put so much effort into getting their girls into this school, is that the end? Or maybe people would rather avoid social interaction with other parents? What's it like at other schools?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:35 pm 
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Location: London
Am amazed that the school don't want the PTA to fundraise.

My DD's school has quite an active PTA (I'm a member) which is very well supported by the school - there is always at least one senior member of school staff at the meetings. They are very keen for us to organise events (e.g. summer fete, quiz night etc.) that create a sense of community.

However, I think it is more difficult to get a PTA going at a secondary school because there isn't the same school gate network.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:24 pm 
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If it makes you feel better, I don't recall the PTA being very active when I was there 20 odd years ago. They used to run the summer fair, I think, but that was about it.

Obviously not changed then!

Don't feel I missed out particularly though. You'll get to meet other parents as your DD settles down and makes friends.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:02 pm
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Location: Hertfordshire
BarnetDad wrote:
I went along to a meeting the other day and am quite amazed at the apathetic nature of the parents at HBS.
...
After having put so much effort into getting their girls into this school, is that the end? Or maybe people would rather avoid social interaction with other parents?


Perhaps it could also be that parents are constrained by work or other engagements and could not make it?
I definitely would have attempted to come had I not already committed my time elsewhere!

I agree with herty though - once DD has settled down with a friends group there will be opportunity aplenty to interact with other parents.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:25 pm 
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At latymer they do a few things and charge for concerts and plays and get you to donate money directly so it can be giftaided.
The company you work for can match your donation so it work out quite well. This is far more effective than the endless fund raising that primary schools do. The chief benefitt is the wonderful sense of community you get but I dont think it is great way for fundraising. With HBS, like Latymer the students travel from quite far which must put people off.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Yes, some good points there. The lack of school gate community and the distance travelled - must be particularly wide with schools without catchment areas. Will be interesting to see what interest there is in the events. I think "An Evening with Jeffrey Archer" has a few spaces left, but I've boycotted that one!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:28 pm 
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This seems to be true of secondary schools in general.i have had experience of Indie, GS and local comp. Either the parents have had enough of PTAs in Junior schools and decide not to get involved, or as was suggested above the school gate community is not there which results in parents not joining the PTAs. Every school I have had contact with has complained of the same thing. It is always "the ususal suspects" who put in an appearance at the PTA.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:19 pm 
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Location: North London
Having been very active in my children's primary school PTA, I have developed a strong aversion to all school fundraising ventures and will run a mile if it's suggested I get involved at secondary school. Just the words 'Summer Fair' induce a fit of the vapours.

Seriously though, I think a lot of keen parents get very involved at primary school then either burn out (like me); or often have a lot of free time when their children are primary age, then return to work when their children go to secondary school and can't commit the time. There is also the school-gate network thing as already mentioned.

LOL at boycotting the Jeffrey Archer evening, I saw that advertised when we went to look round HBS and it was the only thing that put me off!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:30 am 
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Location: Herts
Sorry to go against the general consensus but the PTA is very active at DAO. Two quiz nights a year with 244 entrants at the last one two weeks ago. And they create all the food instead of buying in pizza which is what every quiz night I had ever been to before did. And the PTA runs coffee and biscuits at the tour mornings and at all the year parent teacher nights and the school plays and the school concerts. They also ran an evening to get to know the parents of your dc´s classmates.

They seem to run on the premise of just do a bit when you can. There are lots of last minute emails appealing for help which seem to work because when I respond the vacancies are already filled.

The school are very supportive of the PTA, they have them on stage with them for a speech at induction evening and the Head got up and spoke in support of them at the new parents evening. DAO put a lot of focus on partnership with parents and it shows. I have had more email and phone contact from teachers in one half term than in seven years at primary school.

I think the PTA is necessary because the parents are spread over four boroughs and need a way to meet. I have been pleasantly surprised how easy it has been to meet other parents. I would love to put more time into the PTA because I know I would get a lot out of it but with my dd´s now split between two schools ten miles apart and doing different things at different times, time is being swallowed up. In 9 months it will all be so much easier. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:35 pm 
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What I meant was that PTA is very active but it's always the "usual suspects" who are there at the forefront. Our PTA is there at all school functions, organises Pamper evenings, quiz nights, ball etc. They do the refeshments at the Open Day and all school functions and run the Careers Commitee and Careers Fairs.


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