PTA committee roles and responsibilities
Taking on a named committee role means you can develop
your skills, meet new people and make a real difference to PTA
fundraising. But what are the responsibilities of the 'chair',
'treasurer' and 'secretary'?
You may well be holding your AGM this term, which means named
committee members will be stepping down and you may be looking for
new people to take on the roles. It can be hard finding willing
volunteers, and that's often because people don't understand what
they're being asked to do. The traditional roles are chair,
treasurer and secretary, but what do these roles actually entail on
a day-to-day basis? What each position involves will differ from
committee to committee and will depend on your constitution, but
our job descriptions on the next few pages will give you an idea of
what each named officer is responsible for.
What legal responsibilities are linked to committee roles?
As trustees of the PTA, all named officers are responsible for
making sure the organisation is run effectively and in line with
its constitution. If your PTA is a registered charity, it's likely
that as a chair, treasurer or secretary your details will be lodged
with the Charity Commission. A handbook for trustees -
The Essential Trustee: What you need to know, what
you need to do - can be downloaded from the Charity Commission
website and will tell you more about what is expected of trustees.
Although it may seem intimidating, being a good trustee is mostly
about common sense, for example:
- Ensuring committee meetings are properly organised and
- Ensuring everyone is fully informed and can take part in
discussions that lead to good decisions
- Encouraging everyone to turn up to meetings
- Identifying the skills and experience the charity needs to run
effectively, and recruiting members with these skills
- Making sure the charity's assets are only used to support or
carry out its purposes and taking reasonable steps to ensure the
school spends the money as agreed
Main purpose of role: To lead the committee,
ensuring the PTA is run in line with its constitution and according
to the wishes of all members
- Setting the dates and agenda for meetings
- Managing meetings according to the agenda and remaining
impartial while doing so
- Ensuring meetings are held fairly and contributions from
everyone are welcomed
- Writing the annual report for the AGM
- Delegating tasks to committee members and volunteers and
ensuring these are carried out effectively
- Being one of the designated signatories on the PTA bank
- Getting to know PTA members and welcoming and encouraging new
- Drawing up the annual PTA calendar of events
- Being the PTA's primary link to the school, which includes
agreeing on a wish list with the school leadership team
- Ensuring the PTA is registered with regulatory bodies, e.g. the
Charity Commission, and submitting reports where necessary
- Strong leadership
- Good mediator
'It's important for people to know who you are'
'Being chair of the PTA is a very challenging but rewarding
role. It's crucial to be enthusiastic - as with any job, you need
to enjoy what you're doing. Organisation and delegation are key,
especially when it comes to running events. I think it's important
for people to know who you are - I'm lucky enough to be in the
playground every day so I get to talk to a lot of people.
If you're thinking about being chair of your PTA, my advice is
to go for it! It's so rewarding to know that you've helped to raise
much-needed money for your school. One of the things I'm most proud
of as chair is doubling the teacher allowance to £300 each per year
- every child benefits from this as they get rewards, encouragement
and more "nice stuff" for their classroom.
My three children practically live in our PTA storage cupboard!
They see the importance and result of lending a hand where you can
and the hard work that goes into organising an event. Give it your
best shot, do it with a smile and you're winning.'
Kelley Phelan, PTA chair, St Edmund Campion Catholic
Primary School, Maidenhead, Berkshire (423 pupils)
Main purpose of role: To manage and control PTA
funds according to the wishes of the committee
- Reporting finances at PTA meetings in a clear, concise way that
all members can understand
- Preparing a financial report for the AGM
- Maintaining up-to-date records of all the PTA's financial
- Organising floats for fundraising events
- Ensuring money is kept safely before and during events, and
banking takings afterwards
- Reporting income and expenditure information after events
- Managing Gift Aid claims
- Completing the Charity Commission annual return (if registered)
and getting accounts audited where necessary
- Managing finances on a day-to-day basis, including making
payments, completing banking transactions and issuing bills and
- Ensuring PTA bank cards and cheque books are safely stored
- Implementing procedures for making approved payments and
claiming expenses and ensuring they're followed by all members
- Good with numbers
- Confident handling money
'I feel proud to announce the profit made'
'After supporting the PTFA as a helper and attending meetings
for a couple of years, I was asked if I would take on the role of
treasurer. My main responsibilities are reconciling bank
statements, keeping up-to-date monthly cashbooks, producing termly
reports for PTFA meetings and finalising the annual accounts.
After events, I bank any cash and produce an income and
expenditure report. I also submit our annual return to the Charity
Commission, organise TENs and the lottery licence and renew our
insurance. In addition, I run the 300 Club and I am the
administrator for our Easyfundraising and AmazonSmile schemes.
I do have accounting qualifications however I don't think that's
necessary in order to take on the role of treasurer; I think its
important to have organisation skills, to be comfortable with
numbers and not be scared of paperwork.
To anyone considering becoming a treasurer, I would say that
it's such a rewarding role. After the post-event number-crunching,
it makes me feel very proud to announce the profit made, and to
reward everyone's hard work put into that event. I can honestly say
I love it!'
Claire Smith, treasurer, Haslingden High School &
Sixth Form, Rossendale, Lancashire (1,600 pupils)
Main purpose of role: To ensure the PTA runs
smoothly and efficiently through the preparation and organisation
of the committee's paperwork and communications
- Working with the chair to prepare for and run meetings
- Circulating the agenda and reports before meetings and
identifying outstanding items from previous meetings
- Helping the chair in planning the AGM and preparing the annual
- Managing communication between the committee, volunteers,
school and school community, including writing emails, newsletters
and social media content, which may involve liaising with school
- Managing all correspondence received by the PTA
- Taking minutes during PTA meetings, typing them up and
distributing them to committee members once approved by the
- Maintaining the PTA's records, including minutes, member
contact details and legal documents
- Ensuring there are enough committee numbers present at meetings
to make up the quorum
- Preparing the publicity for events, including flyers, posters
- Strong communicator
- Fast and accurate note-taker
'Being a people person is essential'
'I was approached by the PTA as I was very visible on social
media and I am a strong communicator. I am good at networking and
bringing people together.
As secretary I support the chair and treasurer in all aspects of
their roles. I am responsible for ensuring effective communication
links between the PTA committee, PTA planning team, school staff
and parent community.
The role requires excellent organisational, communication and
social media skills. The secretary role in our school is also the
face of the PTA, so being a people person is essential. Having an
approachable, happy-to-help disposition goes a long way. It's a
busy role and demanding at times, but great fun. It allows you to
get to know many of the parents, teachers and children.
Our school really values the contribution that the PTA makes,
not just financially, but also to building a closer school
community. I feel a great sense of achievement in helping raise
much-needed funds. The most rewarding part is when you see the
children enjoying something new that the PTA has funded.'
Nathalie Dawson, PTA Secretary, St James' CofE Primary
School, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (420 pupils)
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