The PTAs fundraising role has never been more important with school funding coming under pressure.
We read in TES this week that the Head of PISA is warning that England’s school funding squeeze will hit standards:
“Andreas Schleicher, education director at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which publishes the Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) world rankings,voiced concerns over schools struggling to make budget savings of 8 per cent to cope with increasing cost pressures.”
“Mr Schleicher said: ‘If you take the same system and you take money out of it, you lose and lack in quality. I think there’s no question around it.’
“[In reply] The Department for Education said it had protected ‘core school funding’, which was at a record level, and that it was ‘incorrect’ to say it was taking money out of the system.
“A spokesperson said: ‘We recognise, however, that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide advice and support to help them use their funding in cost-effective ways, including improving the way they buy goods and services, so they get the best possible value for their pupils.’*
PTA fundraising role crucial
With this backdrop of a squeeze on school budgets, the money that PTAs raise is crucial. According to a recent survey of over 1,500 PTAs by PTAUK**, the number one role for a PTA is to provide funds or other resources to improve the school. Each year PTAs raises an average of £7,373 each. And 26% of PTAs raise more than £10,000.
The most common items bought include: school trips, IT equipment, sports and playground equipment, books, items for art and science departments – which are hardly frivolous items.
We expect to see a trend of PTAs starting to pay for items that are more traditionally paid for out of central funds, and to see an increase in requests from schools for ‘voluntary’ donations from parents.
Indeed just the other week the Grammar School Heads Association said families could be asked for £30 to £40 a month to ensure teaching standards do not fall.***
Helping PTAs communicate with parents more easily
Here at Classlist we are using technology to help PTAs communicate more easily with parents at their school to organise fundraising events. With Classlist they can message parents directly about volunteering and events, saving school admin time. They can also organise and sell tickets to events online. Reaching a wider range of parents at the school, the PTA can then draw on the skills and resources of the whole school community. This can also improve parental engagement, which is now taken into consideration in Ofsted inspections.
*For the full TES article see: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/exclusive-pisa-boss-warns-englands-school-funding-squeeze-will-hit
***For the telegraph article on the views of the Grammar School Heads Association: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/01/25/grammar-schools-could-ask-parents-40-month-make-funding-shortfalls/
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