Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are a common practice in most schools, but more often than not, they aren’t celebrated or their benefits highlighted. PTAs are a powerful tool for teachers and SLT alike. Working with your PTA makes for greater communication between home and school, enables parents to have a voice, and also allows you to provide students with opportunities they may not have had access to before. Here are a few of the ways that you and your school can benefit from your PTA:
Help to raise standards in your school
Parents want to be involved in their child’s education. They, just like you, want their child to succeed and know that they can ensure this by making your school the best it can be. Bringing parents into the equation provides a fresh insight on improvements that are needed and processes they feel are outdated or need to be put in place. PTA meetings are a forum where these concerns can be voiced and you are privy to these insights.
Improve home-school communication
PTAs provide you and parents with a two-way channel of communication, and having parents on side is not a feat to be overlooked. Having dedicated members of a PTA who are working with you on school initiatives can benefit you greatly when cascading messages to the rest of the parent body. If these are communicated by a parent, parents are more likely to understand that these decisions are made with their vested interest in mind and their views are being represented. This can ultimately mean that other parents respond better to them than if communicated by a member of the school body.
Provide students with extra opportunities
A main focus of the PTA is to organise fundraising events to help raise money for the school so they can provide facilities that they would not have been able to afford otherwise. This extra help means that you as a school can afford to provide your students with learning opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible before. Money raised from these events could go towards buying the school new devices to optimise students’ learning experience or for school trips to offer students additional opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Where the money is spent is decided between you and the parents, so they can feel a part of the process and are more inclined to donate their time to volunteering.
Improve relationships with parents
By spending time with parents you have an extra opportunity to get to know them and learn about your students’ home life. Furthermore, being able to meet parents outside of Parents’ Evenings is also an opportunity for you to form relationships, and allow them to see you as a person outside of school. Fundraising events are a great way to be seen as approachable and for parents to come to you with any concerns or ideas they may have so you can help to raise standards in your school together.