Tell us about your school
St James’ Schools, infants & Juniors are located in the town of Tunbridge Wells. We have 280 children in the Infants & 340 in the Juniors.
What have you done so far to fundraise as a PTA?
We have a full calendar of events throughout the school year:
- October – Junior Sponsored Walk
- November – New Parents Event, this year we will be holding a comedy night
- December – Christmas Event & Christmas card making
- March/April – Easter Egg Bingo and Easter Bunny Hunt
- April – Quiz night
- May – Infant Sponsored Walk
- June/July – Summer Fair
We also run Ice Cream, nearly new uniform and cake sales.
How did you organise PTA events before PTAsocial? What were the main issues your PTA struggled with?
Before PTAsocial we had a group of dedicated supporters and relied on email, individual spreadsheets and paper lists. We struggled with the fact that we didn’t have a central plan with details of tasks needing volunteers. This meant the core group was under a lot of pressure to cover a loads of tasks. We also relied on class reps having updated email contacts, and not everybody received the same message at the same time. Succession planning was a non starter as the handover between committees was reliant on good will and we have just had a complete turnover of committee members.
Have things improved since you started using PTAsocial? Tell us how.
Having a central plan for all to access saved a lot of work and the capability to copy the event template over to the next year ensures we maintain a knowledge base and can keep any lessons learned.
Has it been helpful for the committee? (Made their jobs any easier, less hassle?)
The centralized plan has helped the committee enormously by enabling us to remind people what they have volunteered for, make amendments on the fly and keep everybody updated easily by not having to search out email addresses all the time. It allows Parents to review school dates (usually handed out on paper) and has eased the pressure on the School office.
Has it been convenient for parents? What was their reaction? (Any new volunteers as a result?)
I think it is fair to say that Parents are still getting used to it but our numbers are growing all the time. Our volunteer base has moved away from a core group of friends and opened up to the wider community.
What did you find to be the best benefit of PTAsocial?
The central event management planning and improved communication.
Would you recommend PTAsocial to other schools?
Absolutely, it is so easy to use!