National PTA Week to celebrate pandemic innovations amid fundraising shortfall fears

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

The innovative and inspirational work of PTAs during the pandemic is to be celebrated during the inaugural National PTA Week in June.

It is being organised by national charity Parentkind and comes after a challenging year for PTA fundraising, in which many events were cancelled or “reimagined” due to Covid-19.

In 2019, Parentkind’s 13,000 or so PTA members raised around £121m for schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with much of this money channeled directly to the front-line – funding classroom resources.

However, last year it warned that PTAs were predicting a 35 per cent loss in income in 2020 due to Covid, which would 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.

However, the charity says that during the pandemic, 42 per cent of its members have successfully trialled virtual events such as balloon races, and 28 per cent have conducted socially distanced events such as Halloween trails.

The inaugural National PTA Week will take place from June 21 and will include an online celebration involving a virtual conference and an awards ceremony in which winners will receive a financial injection to boost their funds.

PTAs can nominate themselves for various categories, such as PTA of the Year, PTA Fundraising Achievement of the Year, and Community Initiative of the Year.

The week will bring together online parent volunteers from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to honour “the extraordinary and often unsung achievements of parent volunteers”.

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.

John Jolly, CEO of Parentkind, said: “When hearing how our PTA members have fared this past year, we have all been incredibly impressed. Their dedication and tireless commitment is an inspiration. It is absolutely right that we now take the time to applaud the army of parent volunteers who make their whole school community a better place.

“Our PTA members tell us that holding events remains by far their biggest money-spinner, but they also tell us the pandemic has been the biggest challenge they’ve faced. Even so, we have been wowed by the resourcefulness so many of our PTA members have shown.

“We hope that many parent groups will be inspired to nominate themselves for an award, and that the work and contribution of dedicated volunteers will justly be recognised and talked about across the country.”

  • For more information about National PTA Week, including signing up for workshops and nominating a PTA for an award, visit www.parentkind.org.uk/National-PTA-Week and follow via #NationalPTAWeek and #PTAHeroes


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