School libraries hit by PTA fundraising shortages

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

School libraries are being hit due to PTA fundraising shortages caused by the pandemic.

Charity Parentkind fears a “double-whammy” as overall PTA fundraising has been reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions, while less of the money that is being brought in is going to school libraries directly.

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

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.

And new research shows that 35 per cent of Parentkind members raised money for their school library directly in 2020 – down from 39 per cent in 2019.

The charity said: “The double-whammy of PTAs raising less on average last year compared to previous years, and spending less of their diminished funds on school libraries has left schools having to cover more of the costs themselves.

“At a time of stretched school budgets, PTA contributions are sorely missed when ensuring libraries are well-stocked and children don’t miss out.”

The warning has come ahead of the inaugural National PTA Week, which begins on June 21. The aim is to raise the spirits of parent volunteers nationwide as well as support fundraising work via virtual advice workshops.

John Jolly, CEO of Parentkind, said: “We want National PTA Week to inspire our members and raise their hopes about hitting funding targets for popular projects like buying resources for school libraries.

“An unintended consequence of coronavirus restrictions has been to make it difficult for our PTAs to hold events, get people together and raise vital funds for schools at a time when many headteachers are already struggling to balance their budgets.

“Our concern is that this has reduced the impact PTAs have made in funding resources for their school library, which may in turn hamper education recovery, especially for the most disadvantaged pupils.”

  • 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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