Chair: The Hayes Primary School
Joanne Doble, The Hayes Primary School, Kenley, Surrey
Running your PTA
- How many people are there on your committee?
- How long have you been Chair? 7 years
- When is your busiest time of year? The whole
year is busy, as we run at least two events a month.
- When is your quietest time of year? The summer
- What's the best piece of advice you received before
taking on the role of Chair? Don't do it! (Not really!). I
was told that being organised helps - start small and build up once
you get more parents involved. Listen to ideas and suggestions from
- How hands-on are you as a Chair? I drive the
committee but we have certain members doing jobs - pre-loved
uniform, talent show, and our film club.
- What is your relationship like with the school and the
staff? Excellent. They are very supportive.
Tips and advice
- What advice will you pass on to your
successor? Downscale and listen to what parents want in
the way of events. A questionnaire is a good way to gauge people's
- What do you wish you'd known before becoming
Chair? I think my predecessor worked alongside me and
provided enough information for me to feel I could do it. She was
always there to provide advice.
- What have you personally gained from being
Chair? Confidence and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I even
got a job at the school at a TA!
- What is the best thing about being Chair?
Everyone knows you and you know all the children.
- What do you think makes a good PTA Chair? You
need to be organised and spend plenty of time to research new
ideas. The best thing is having a great team of parents on the
committee to help at the drop-of-a-hat. They are so committed to
the school and the PTA.
Challenges in the role
- What challenges have you faced? Managing the
family and school balance. I spend so much time thinking about our
- What is the most daunting task you have to undertaken
in your role? It's probably the first time we run a new
event, as you're never sure how it's going to go.
- Have you ever had an instance where you have had to
challenge the school's decision(s)? Sometimes I have
researched and gone back with clear instructions why I think we
should do things a certain way.
- How do you go about handling any
animosity/disagreements in your committee? We never have
any, although there have been times when we don't always
- How do you go about recruiting volunteers for
events? We use our slogan: 'give a little, gain a lot'.
Getting help from our class reps also definitely works.
- How do you go about boosting morale and motivating your
committee? Each year I organise scratch cards from the PTA
committee. Wine at the meetings helps! Special mentions on
newsletter and Facebook are always nice, too.
- How do you welcome new families to the school?
We create a welcome pack and give a talk at meetings for new
parents. We also distribute a tea-and-tissue gift pack on the first
day at school to new reception parents.
- How long do you intend on being Chair? Three
more years until my son leaves primary school.
- How long did you plan on being Chair when you started,
and has this changed since taking on the role? I never
really thought about it - but I love it, and life wouldn't be the
same without it!
- Did you shadow the previous Chair before taking on the
role? Yes, I did this for six months.
- Do you intend on having your successor shadow you in
the role, before you step down? Yes, and I would probably
let them shadow me for a year to get to grips with the role.
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