Covid-19: Schools facing £42m 'black hole' in PTA fundraising

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Schools are facing up to losing out on millions of pounds in income traditionally raised by PTAs to buy resources, equipment, school trips and more.

Unsurprisingly, parent-teacher associations (PTA) across the country have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many fundraising events postponed or cancelled.

Charity Parentkind, which supports PTAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, says that its members raised a collective £121m for their schools in 2019.

However, its latest analysis shows that PTAs are predicting a 35 per cent loss in income in 2020, which will leave a “black hole” of as much as £42m.

In 2019, the most popular PTA events were summer and Christmas fairs as well as bonfire night events and activities like quiz and film evenings. It is easy to see how the pandemic will have devastated programmes for 2020.

Parentkind’s figures show that its members raised an average of £9,006 in 2019, while PTA members volunteer an average of 251 hours each academic year.

The analysis also shows that these funds are most likely to be spent on educational materials, leavers’ events, school trips, outdoor learning areas and playground equipment.

In September, Parentkind advised members about the range of online and Covid-secure events and activities that could take place this term, including virtual quizzes, online donations, and community events such as scarecrow or safari trails (Jenner, 2020).

This week, the charity has launched a Big PTA Raffle initiative – a paperless and digital fundraising activity to support PTAs. Developed in conjunction with Your School Lottery, the Big PTA Raffle helps PTAs to host traditional raffles online.

Twelve lucky ticket holders will receive a Christmas bonus of £5,000 in a December prize draw while PTAs receive funds from every ticket sale.

Parentkind CEO John Jolly said: “At a time when the pandemic has made us all have to rethink how we interact with others, I’m proud that this initiative offers PTAs an invaluable fundraising avenue. It’s wonderful for us to see PTA volunteers passionately championing their schools, bringing communities together online and providing much-needed resources that will benefit every child’s education.”

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