PTAs – communicate more easily with your parents this year with Classlist
How are you going to communicate with parents this year and find volunteers?
Perhaps you are looking ahead to the new school year and wondering how you could do things a little differently this year? Or, maybe you have taken over the reins as PTA chair and are looking make a few changes?
Here are some of our top tips for getting parents involved:
Send regular newsletters
Newsletters will help keep parents in the know about your up coming fundraising events and how to get involved. It’s also important to communicate your successes and the benefits of being on the PTA – whether this is having fun working as a team, or learning new skills – as this will make other parents want to get involved.
Tell parents what you are fundraising for
If people know that you are trying to raise money to buy some ‘much needed new books for Class Five’, or that ‘the school is in need of a new roof’, then people are more likely to get behind your activities than a vague aim to raise funds for the school.
Remind parents about that non-school uniform day or that the school always closes early on the last day of term. Answer parent queries – such as when the coach is due back from the school trip or what day maths homework needs to be in. Then they will be more likely to help you when you need it.
Organise Social Events
Organise no-strings-attached social events to get to know people (such as an evening in the pub) – before you sidle up to parents asking for help.
Consider using Class Reps
Setting up Class Reps or Ambassadors for the PTA in each class is also a good idea – this way you aren’t just relying on the social network of the key people in the PTA. You’ll have a representative in each class who is likely to know many of the parents of the other children in their child’s class.
Ask people ‘when’ they can volunteer not ‘if’
Set out a list of tasks you need help with at the beginning of the year and ask when parents can help. Be imaginative around the different ways people can help. Some people love baking, whilst others might prefer helping you advertise or be able to find you sponsorship for a key event.
Make it fun and be open to new ideas
Give people a say in what activities you are going to put on, let them choose quirky job titles. Preparing for a key event? Make an evening of it round someone’s house.
Encourage new parents
New parents are often keen to get the inside track on a school and make new friends quickly so reach out to them – perhaps by organising a new parents coffee morning.
However, reaching all the parents at a school can be tricky.
As a PTA chair from a small Oxford primary school puts it:
“It’s difficult getting messages out to parents. To get a message in the school newsletter we have to go through the school office. Not all parents are on our Facebook group. It would be great just to send a message out quickly. All us parents on the PTA are working mums and very busy.”
With data protection issues preventing schools from giving out contact details building email contact lists is hard work too. It often involves speaking to parents individually. Then every year classes change, children leave the school, more join. Parents change their contact details. New families join during the year.
What can you do?
Hundreds of schools and thousands of parents across the UK are now using Classlist. Maria Blick, Chair of the Parent Association at Christchurch Cathedral School – where they now use Classlist – says:
“It’s modern – and makes it easier to get my job done…[Classlist] has helped to publicise events more successfully. In the past, some [parents] had complained of being unaware of forthcoming events with flyers in book bags going missing.”
Co-founders Susan Burton and Clare Wright explain why they created Classlist:
“Sometimes there would be a super-organised class rep with an Excel sheet or a Word document where we could add our details to a class list.
“Sometimes there wasn’t, or the list was wrong or out of date, or we lost it. And then next year, the same again… For three children each.
“We thought there must be an easier way to connect with other parents, without the whole world getting your personal details.”
Classlist is a secure app to make life easier for parents and PTAs. FREE and fully data protected.
Parents can message other parents in their child’s class, share photos securely and organise children’s playdates and parent meetups.
PTAs can make whole school announcements, organise community events, take online payment for tickets and more.
- message all parents without bothering the school office
- organise events
- let parents know how to help
- look up a mum or dad’s name on the class contact list
- check the homework
- organise birthday parties and parent meetups