Why do we have a PFA?
This page aims to provide you with information about our Parents and Friends Association, which forms a major part of school life.
If you have any questions that remain unanswered, please contact one of the Committee Officers listed in the Appendix.
We are fortunate at our school to have a PFA that is and has been an integral part of the school community for a number of years. In its time the PFA has raised thousands of pounds, which has been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education experience and the school’s facilities.
Our PFA is about much more than simply fundraising. The PFA exists to provide closer links between home and school and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal.
All parents/guardians and members of the school community are encouraged to get involved, even if they only have a small amount of time available. All families are automatically members of the PFA when their child joins our school.
Some parents/guardians continue their connection with the association after their child leaves the school. In addition, many ‘old’ pupils and members of the local community have links with the association. The involvement of all sections of the community is reflected in the choice of the association’s name: we welcome all ‘friends’ of the school as members.
The PFA is extremely conscious of the ethos and diversity of our school, and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this. Not all of our events are run as fundraisers. for example, we provide refreshments at parents’ and Open evenings
Charity law requires voluntary organisations such as ours with an annual income in excess of £5,000 to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. As a charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a governing document referred to as our constitution. Our constitution sets out the rules about how we operate as a PFA and how we conduct ourselves. If you would like to see a copy of the constitution, please contact one of the Committee members.
Being a registered charity enables the PFA to:-
- receive charitable donations from local and national companies
- apply to grant-making charitable trusts; most charitable trusts will give grants only to groups formally recognised as charities
- receive donations made through payroll giving and company matched giving schemes
- apply for Gift Aid
Role of the Committee
Our PFA Committee consists of three Officers: Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We also have ordinary members to make up the full committee. The Committee is always looking for new members throughout the academic year and if you would like more information on joining the committee, then contact one of the Officers.
The Committee meets on a regular basis usually once per term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary when we are planning larger events.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Our AGM is usually held in March and provides an opportunity for all parents/guardians to come along and hear in more detail about the work of the PFA, the events we have run, the funds we have raised and how the money has been spent. It is also when we elect the Officers.
Support from PTA-UK (formerly National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations)
Our PFA is a member of PTA-UK (www.pta.org.uk), which is a national charity and membership organisation providing support and guidance for all home school associations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our association is one of over 13,000 members and we pay an annual membership fee giving us lots of member benefits including comprehensive insurance cover for all PFA run events, support and advice on running the PFA plus fundraising ideas and good practice hints and tips – such as the contents of this booklet.
How we raise money
Like most PFAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Some of our most popular events are:
- Easter/Spring fair
- bbq for the school’s sponsored walk
- catering for events held at the school
We are interested in raising money in other ways too. Donations from parents/guardians are extremely important. You can donate time, money, items for sale and raffle prizes or offers of services and skills. Every contribution – no matter how large or small – helps us meet our aim to raise funds towards improving the quality of our children’s educational environment and experience.
How we spend the money we raise
Following a fundraising event the money is banked straight away. It is at our PFA Committee meetings, that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed. Usually, the head teacher will have a ‘wish list’ of items that the school would like the PFA to consider funding.
Sometimes this will be for the benefit of the whole school community. For example, the association has provided a number of benches and tables in the school grounds.
At other times it will be for resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment. The PFA funds are spent on the ‘extras’ that are not provided by the school’s budget, thus making our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting. For example, a sophisticated digital camera for the photography course; a mobile gantry for adjusting the stage lighting in the school hall; and software and memory sticks for the dyslexia unit;
PFA funds are not generally spent on improving the fabric of the school building as this is the responsibility of the school Governing Body.
The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting our school, your child/ren will feel the benefit, along with everybody else.
How you can get involved
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the PFA.
Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you can’t come into school. There are always jobs that can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare e.g. wrapping gifts, preparing raffle tickets, baking cakes etc. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the behind-the-scenes help that we receive.
If you would like to be more involved you can volunteer to be a Committee Member. Or you can simply support the AGM and give us your ideas for fundraising events. This is also the time to ask questions or voice your opinion.
You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use, everything is potentially valuable to us.
Thank you for taking the time to read our booklet. We hope you now know a little more about Biloxi your Parent and Friends Association. On behalf of all the pupils we would like to thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experience and makes their time in school so enjoyable.