Case Study: Community building at a new school

Samuel Ryder Academy PTA tells us how they used PTAsocial to grow their community.

Tell us about your school.
Our school, Samuel Ryder Academy, is one of a few all through schools catering for students between 4 and 19 years. Established in 2012 the academy is still in its infancy but is growing fast and now has reception to year 2 in the primary phase and years 7-13 in secondary. Our PTA works across the whole academy and encourages participation from primary and secondary parents, seeking to connect them through the common goal of raising funds to provide additional resources which will benefit our children.


What have you done so far to fundraise as a PTA?
Our main fundraiser is usually a summer term Fun Day, however many other events have been run throughout the 2 years including festive fairs, quiz nights, race nights and the star of the show last year, a circus! A couple of years ago our events were run by very few people with a drive to set up a successful PTA, it was challenging to get volunteers to support the events with the school being so small. Last year not only did the school increase in size but we used PTAsocial to recruit volunteers, the parent engagement in the system allowed us to get many more people involved, this means we can have more ambitious plans year on year.


How has the growth of your school affected the PTA?
The growth of the school means we have more parents to pull on for volunteering at events but also more of a challenge around communication. We have a new committee who are bringing new ideas to the PTA as well as building on events which have taken place over the past couple of years. This year we automatically recruited all new primary and year seven parents to PTAsocial to help with both communication and volunteering and many more people are coming on board.


Do you use PTAsocial for anything else apart from recruiting volunteers?
We share our meeting minutes via PTAsocial and use the news section to remind parents of school events which are not always run by the PTA. It’s becoming a part of school life, a way to reach parents that does not burden the school office with extra admin, and an easy way for parents to respond or ask questions too.


What were the problems you had before?
The main issues were communication and reaching out to parents to volunteer at events. When the academy was very small events could be organised by the committee and by a few driven parents through playground conversations. However as the academy grew this approach became less inclusive, parents wanted to be involved but didn’t know how.


What are the best benefits of PTAsocial?
Communication and inclusion. With PTAsocial people feel included, everything is transparent so anyone can get involved. Whether or not they want to be part of PTA events is their decision, but at least they have all the information and opportunities available to them. We’ve many more volunteers, so we know it helps people decide to get involved! Without a doubt, thanks to PTAsocial, we now have a more inclusive community.


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