Parents will often stop being involved with a PTA when their
child leaves the school. This means that a PTA over a number
of years will continually have members leaving and joining.
Unfortunately, on some occasions the vast majority of committee
members will all leave at the same time.
This isn't just a problem in terms
of recruiting a new committee but will also mean that all the
expertise developed over a number of years will be lost. It
is therefore really important to ensure you plan for such changes
by future-proofing your PTA.
Start considering this well in
advance of the Annual
General Meeting (AGM). Establish which committee members will
be standing for re-election and who will be stepping down.
Identify any officer roles that
will need to be replaced and consider whether there are other
committee members who would be able to fill these. With
sufficient time, the existing officer will have a chance to explain
the role to the person taking it over. If finding a
replacement proves difficult, suggest job sharing an officer's
role. This can be a good way to reduce the workload as well
as giving anyone lacking confidence a partner to work with as they
learn what is involved. When a new officer takes up their post,
explain that part of their role will be to consider who their
successor might be. This way a suitable volunteer could be
identified, during their term of office, easing the transition
process and the difficulties sometimes experienced with filling an
Ask existing officers to make sure
any paperwork they hold on behalf of the Association is organised
and ready to be handed over to their replacement. Make sure
key documents such as your constitution and accounts are always
handed on. Also, try to capture any of the knowledge that has
been developed during time spent on the committee. Ask
departing committee members to record all the information on how to
run events that have proved popular and successful for the
PTA. This should include information on external suppliers
that have been used or what legal requirements apply and how these
have been dealt with.
As a committee member making your
PTA successful is very important but one of the best things that
you can do for your PTA is to ensure that new PTA volunteers have
all the information they need to ensure that the PTA
continues. Make sure that your legacy is a thriving PTA ready
to carry on supporting the education of the children at the school
once you have left.
• find out well in advance of
your AGM who is planning to either stand again or to step
• make sure any departing members hand on all relevant and
important paperwork - this is particularly important for the
• establish a system that enables your committee to capture
any knowledge developed during time in post, as incoming committee
members will find this invaluable.
Community School PTA, London