Our mission statement
St James’ Schools Parent Teachers Association exists to:
Develop effective relationships between the staff, parents and others associated with the school by organising social events for the enjoyment of the pupils and their families
Arrange events and activities that raise funds for equipment and projects in school to enhance the education of the pupils
Why we have a PTA
The PTA is an integral part of the school community. Over the last 3 years the PTA has raised over £100,000; this has been spent on improving equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education and the facilities in school. This year we are raising funds for the following items:
The PTA is not all about fund raising; it has an equally important role to cultivate closer links between home and school, and is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the schools working towards a common goal.
How do I become a member?
All parents are automatically members of the Association when their children join our schools. They can get involved as much or as little as they want to, even if they only have a small amount of time available. The PTA is extremely conscious of the ethos of our schools, and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this to ensure the events we run are welcoming and inclusive of all, creating a happy school community where all views are valued and respected. Not all of our events are run as fundraisers. Events including this year's Infant and Junior Easter Egg hunts, and refreshments for the Infant sports day and for new Reception parents during the first week of term are funded by the PTA. School discos are run affordably with the aim of giving the children a good time and as a way of thanking families for their continued support to the PTA.
Why we are a registered charity and what this means
The Charities Act 1993 requires organisations such as ours with an annual income in excess of £1,000 to register with the Charity Commission. As a Charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a Constitution lodged formally with the Commission. Our Constitution lays down rules about how we operate as a PTA and how we conduct ourselves. The constitution is available on request. Being a Registered Charity gives us many extra benefits. We are able to apply for Gift Aid, which can earn us an extra 25p in every pound donated to the PTA by UK taxpayers. We can raise funds more easily from grant giving trusts, local businesses etc. And we can benefit from charity matched giving schemes whereby an employer matches the funding raised by their employee (one of our parent volunteers) at a PTA event. We currently have access to a potential £10,000 each year in matched funds. As a charity we can only raise funds for another charity if it is clearly communicated and separate from the PTA fund raising initiative to ensure it is clear to anybody donating which charity they are assisting.
How is the PTA run?
PTA activity is co-ordinated by a small Committee which meets on a regular basis, usually once a month, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary to organise our bigger events. There is a meeting at the beginning of each term to which all PTA members are invited. This reviews our financial situation and funding targets, reflects on recent events and plans for upcoming events / fundraisers. We know everyone has very busy diaries so we try to vary the timing of this meeting to give as many people as possible the chance to attend. Our Annual General Meeting is held at the beginning of the autumn term. This is an opportunity for all parents to come along and hear in more detail about events run and funds raised, and how the money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new Committee. The Committee aims to be a very open, friendly team who represent both schools. We develop good friendships and learn new skills through getting involved on the Committee and are always keen to meet new people. We depend on the entire school community to run the PTA and appreciate help and support of all kinds. The core Committee roles are listed below, although they are flexible to suit different individuals. A person is voted and seconded into a Committee role for duration of two years after which the post is re-advertised. There will be two posts available from September 2016: Treasurer and Secretary. Anybody interested in discussing the roles further please do not hesitate to contact the PTA or attend a PTA meeting. The PTA Constitution provides for decisions to be taken on the basis of a simple majority committee vote. Our PTA Committee currently consists of 8 officers (Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Junior Vice Chair, 2 Infant Vice Chairs and Marketing Manager). Members of the committee are automatically trustees for the accounts. We are fully insured with PTA UK which means that no one person is liable in any event.
Chair – Deborah Powell (Newly elected 2016)
The role of the chairperson is to lead the PTA / work with heads, teachers and membership to develop and oversee delivery of its strategy, including achieving the fundraising goals. On a day to day basis this means ... call and guide the committee meetings, approve minutes and liaise with committee, staff and parents to oversee the organisation of the various fundraising activities. The chair is responsible for signing cheques and writing the annual report.
Junior Vice Chair – Elaine Dowdy Infant Vice Chairs – Jennifer Edwards & Dawn Norman
The role of vice chair supports the chair in leading meetings, welcoming and involving parents to the PTA. Lead fundraising events and support communications
Treasurer – Emma Lewis (Vacant from September having served 3 year tenure)
The Treasurer’s role is to keep the finances of the PTA in good order. The treasurer has to issue any cheques, which must be countersigned by the Chair and bank cheques and cash received. At PTA events the Treasurer issues floats and cashes up at the end of the event. A full annual report must be submitted at every AGM and a formal audit must be undertaken every 3 years with interim reports provided at every meeting.
Secretary – Suzie Toombs (Vacant from September having served 3 year tenure)
The role of secretary of the PTA is to send out agendas for the committee meetings, attend the meetings to take minutes and then send them to everyone on the PTA mailing list, organise licences as and when required for fundraising events and support the Chair in administration duties.
Marketing Manager – Caroline Thomson (Vacant from September having served 2 year tenure)
The marketing manager communicates news and events via flyers, posters, email and website. Works with the event managers to publicise and encourage involvement from the entire school community.
The schools encourage each class to have one or more Class Reps to act as a contact point between schools and parents. While not an obligatory part of the role, the PTA values Class Reps' support to communicate information about forthcoming events, generate ideas, and help recruit volunteers.
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Please donate to St James' PTA by clicking the logo below. Thank you!
"We are so grateful to the PTA for the great support they give us as a school. As well as raising large amounts such as the major donation to our new library and community room and website, the PTA organise great events for the children and their families to take part in that are fun for everyone. The PTA makes a valuable contribution to the life of the school."
Mel Shackleton, Head Teacher of St James’ Infant School
"The St James’ PTA are simply fantastic. With the support of our parents and our local community they raise a huge amount of money to improve the resources and facilities within the school. Recently these have included a new library, new books and new computers. The PTA work tirelessly to support our schools and we are extremely grateful for their efforts."
John Tutt, Head Teacher of St. James’ Junior School.
Dear parents and teachers of St James’ Schools
We are excited to announce that we are introducing a great new way for our parents and teachers to communicate about fundraising and social events at our school. PTAsocial is a website that strengthens and grows our school community. It allows you to stay up to speed with the latest news, and can be viewed from your smartphone, tablet or home computer. It gives you control over what emails you receive, and protects your privacy.
It’s a simple way to get in touch with other parents, and plan stuff together. It's easy for you RSVP to PTA events, or offer to help just a little, and make a big difference together. You can get involved as much or as little as you want, it’s up to you -- but you’re invited!
You can watch a short video here if you'd like to know more: http://www.ptasocial.com/why-join
Take a few seconds to join us now
Click on the logo above to register and access PTAsocial
Class reps who have provided email addresses to the PTA previously will be opted in to receive our updates via PTAsocial. You can change your notification preferences or opt out at any time.