Lara Bradford describes the difference PTAsocial made to her experience as PTA Chair last year.
Tell us about your school.
Greenleas is a Bedfordshire lower school split over two sites with 600+ pupils, ranging in age from 2-9.
What were you doing PTAsocial before to organise PTA events?
Like most other schools, Greenleas PTA had a core of people who had been on the committee for a number of years and always organised fundraising events. Unfortunately a lot of these people left around the same time and we found ourselves very short of help. I read about PTAsocial in the local Families magazine and thought it sounded the perfect way to recruit new volunteers and handle parent helper rotas.
What changed when you started using PTAsocial?
We were able to reach a lot more parents who has never attended a committee meeting before, or even thought of helping out. As soon as rotas were published people could see where we needed help, and could sign up for a half hour slot selling sweets at a disco without having to commit to anything else.
Did you fundraise more than before?
Our first joint summer event as a two-site school using PTAsocial raised over £3600, a record amount!!!
Did PTAsocial help with the admin side?
Absolutely. Having online rotas means you can easily keep track of who is doing what, and you can send out appeals for help without needing lots of email addresses. It’s so simple to use, and I’m not sure how we managed without it before!
What was the overall impact of using PTAsocial?
We saw a huge increase in our pool of occasional volunteers, which is exactly what we needed.
What was the reaction from parents in your school?
Everyone I have spoken to about PTAsocial thinks it’s an amazing idea. Its benefits to the school community are wide reaching and I don’t think we’ve even used it to its full potential yet.
What is the number one benefit of PTAsocial for you?
Having online rotas available for the school community to see. I think some people who signed up were rather surprised at the amount of work that goes into running some PTA events!
Would you recommend PTAsocial to other schools?
Absolutely. I can’t recommend it enough!
Lara Bradford, Chair of Greenleas PTA 2013-14