Parent Teacher Associations
Throughout the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom schooling system there are Parent Teacher Associations, which offer assistance to both teachers and parents alike as their children and pupils make the journey through their schooling years. It is useful to understand what the role of a Parent Teacher Association is and of what use it can be for both parents and children as their children are educated in a particular school for what is normally a length of time.
What is a PTA?A Parent Teacher Association is a body made up of both parents and teachers alike who have a responsibility to the teaching and welfare of the children under their care – be they the parent or the teacher responsible for their welfare during school hours.The general goal of a PTA is to bring about an understanding between parents and the school at which their child – or children – are being taught. PTA’s are used as a means of bringing about dialogue between both parents and teachers in an informal atmosphere with the aim of uniting both and helping each understand what the requirements are for the children in their care.
How PTA’s WorkParent Teacher Associations meet on a regular basis – be it monthly bi-monthly or quarterly – to discuss and bring issues to the fore that may go unnoticed: whilst meeting parents and teachers alike can address topics which might normally be only discussed by the Board of Governors in a school who do not always make their findings known to all parents. Parents are encouraged to discuss the curriculum and syllabus under which their children are being taught and teachers are encouraged to discuss how they do this and also what parents can do to assist them outside school with their child’s schooling. It is also a forum for suggestions and ideas to be raised and represents a more positive and mutually beneficial approach to schooling than simply having once yearly parent’s evenings.
Again from school to school the role of the Parent Teachers Association can vary and can be used to help raise much needed funds for the school, provide assistance to other parents for school trips and outings, assist in the running of after school clubs and also to maintain a constant link between the school and those parents who – for whatever reason – cannot attend PTA meetings.
Who can join a PTA?There are obviously logistical considerations to be taken into account when joining a PTA but for the most part anyone who is a parent or registered guardian of a child at school can attend the PTA meetings. Logistically it is not always possible for a parent to attend these meetings; for example a parent may work irregular shift patterns or may not have transport or indeed may have younger children at home that cannot be left unattended. Parents wishing to join their school’s PTA can do so by contacting their child’s school and acquainting themselves with the ways and wherefores of how the PTA operates and when it meets. It is also worth noting that if your child’s school does not have a PTA in operation you – as a parent or guardian – can if you so wish start one up. Speaking to your child’s head teacher is a good start to finding out how to go about this. But it can be done and the NCPTA (National Confederation of Parent Teachers Associations) will be able to provide you with all the help and guidance you need as well as such things as how to insure your PTA should it be responsible for transporting children from one location to another.
It may sound to some like a waste of time but a PTA is an invaluable resource in providing your child – and children like them – and their school, with the means to having a healthy and enjoyable education.