Event Guide: Organise a Leavers Event

Throwing an end-of-year celebration at your school?

Get an overview of everything you need to remember with our handy summary!

Check out our other event guides… coming soon!

Date and Venue

The first and most important job!

Many schools hold a leavers event at the end of the school year, so local suppliers are likely to get booked up quickly. Agree this date well in advance with the school and book any catering or DJs as soon as possible. Check out some PTA suppliers here

A lot of schools hold their leavers parties within the school itself, and if you are planning an indoor event make sure you know your maximum capacity so you don’t breach fire regulations (this is where a ticketed event comes in handy.)

If it’s going to be an outdoor affair, you’ll probably need to source a few gazebos – and have a back up plan handy in case of rain.

Don’t forget to make sure you have the right licences and insurance for your event, and you’ll need to have First Aid covered too!

Or…..some PTAs fund a special trip or outing for a last hurrah, how about bowling or the cinema, or a theme park? Now that would be a great memory for the departing students!

Theme ideas

Let's get this party started!

It’s the end of an era for kids and parents alike, so pick a memorable theme everyone can get on board with and enjoy! You could ask the leavers themselves to vote on a theme, or have one where everyone can dress up in themed costumes or their best bib and tucker!

A theme can also help you decide on decorations, food and drink, leavers gifts or photo props. Click here for some cool products!

Some popular theme ideas are:

* A Night at the Movies – dress as your fave film star and hit the red carpet
* Wear-A-Onesie – great fun for younger children
* Wild West BBQ – dress as cowboys & cowgirls and hire a bucking bronco!
* Pyjama Party – bring your teddies and snuggle on beanbags when the partying gets too much
* Summer Garden Party – with bunting, Pimms and homemade cakes
* Hawaiian Hula – wear your loudest Hawaiian shirt!
* Barn dance – some hay bales and checked tablecloths will help create the right atmosphere
* Masquerade Ball – get the children to decorate their own mask!
* Prom Night – get out the fancy frocks and have a glamorous ball
* Family Festival with camping – fab outdoor fun for the whole family

Food and Drink

Yum yum......

So we’ve reached July and with any luck there’ll be plenty of sunshine for your leavers event. A barbeque is a great money spinner and usually gets Dads involved with the cooking!

Approach your local butchers and see if they’ll do a deal on the burgers and sausages, or maybe they’ll be kind enough to donate some grub?

Or this may the one event of the year when you hand the catering over to someone else and let your hair down after a hard year’s fundraising! Strike a deal with local outside caterers and you could be in for a share of the profits. An ice cream van may go down a treat as well!

Homemade cakes are a must at a garden party event, and would guarantee your PTA 100% profit! Any spectacular bakes could be auctioned off, or used as raffle prizes too. (Just make sure each baker provides a list of ingredients in case of allergies.)

If adults are celebrating with you, a Pimm’s or beer tent is a great way to earn lots of cash, especially if you buy your booze from the local cash and carry or on Sale or Return. You could also make mocktails for the children complete with fruit garnish and an umbrella. What a lovely send off for the leavers!

Finishing touches

Add some extra sparkle....

​You’ll want to end the school year in style and give the leavers an event to remember, but how can you make it extra special? Book a local band for awesome live music?

A photobooth complete with comedy props can be lots of fun, and give the children a lasting memento of their time at school. If a booth is too expensive, turn a classroom into a photographic studio using a white sheet or colourful cardboard back drop and utilise the skills of a talented parent to take and print photos!

Your leavers are the stars for the night, so why not create a VIP room just for them? A red carpet, music and glitter curtain will make it extra special, add some decorations and beanbags, and lay on some mocktails and a few snacks – they will feel like superstars!​

Why not present the leavers with a little gift to commemorate their time at school, maybe a t-shirt or hoodie with their classmates names and year printed on the back, or a yearbook filled with photos and memories from their teachers and friends.

Or you could arrange a fun-filled afternoon with activities and inflatables.

Find some great suppliers here

A leavers event is a good opportunity to get teachers involved so they can celebrate the end of the school year too. If they’re good sports, they could be waiters and waitresses, organise a games tournament with the leavers, or hand out prizes and gifts.​


Get the word out there!

Once you’ve got your date, venue and theme agreed, get the word out there! Posters in classroom windows, flyers, an advert on the newsletter and school text messages are all great ways of ramping up the excitement before the big day.

If you’re selling tickets, make sure parents know where and when to buy them so that no-one misses out. You can sell them online on PTAsocial too!

​If you’re holding a raffle get parents, friends and relatives to buy and sell tickets in advance by sending home book of tickets in school bags (do make sure your school has a gambling licence though!)


Get everyone involved!

You’ll want to spend time celebrating with the children and other parents, not stuck behind the bar all night! So be sure to chop up your rota into manageable slots (say half an hour) and share the workload so that everyone has a chance to let their hair down.​

And that’s where PTAsocial can help! Spread the word that you’re looking for lots of volunteers to do a little work during the event, sign them up to our free PTAsocial app, create your event and watch those slots fill up.

Help them to feel good about being useful and making a real difference, without over-committing themselves.

Track down those parents who have specific skills or knowledge that will make your event extra special – a DJ, a great home baker, a barbeque king, interior designer, photographer or bartender would all help to make it a night to remember!

Enjoyed this guide?


Did you know that PTAsocial’s free app is used by 1500+ schools to organise events and recruit more volunteers?

Take 2 mins to start a free account for your PTA now!

Like it? Please share!Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Pin on Pinterest
Share on Tumblr
Share on LinkedIn
Email this to someone

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. More info

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.