We actively seek partnerships with government, other charities, businesses and education experts to give more opportunities for parents from all walks of life to participate positively in education and school life.

If you are interested in working in partnership with PTA UK, please email

Building Stronger Communities through Volunteering in Schools project


In the video above, you'll hear from the parent volunteers who brought Building Stronger Communities through Volunteering in Schools to life in four schools in Northern Ireland. The remarkable story they tell, and the further resources below will provide you all the details about this exciting and award-winning project, which you may wish to consider introducing to your school.

EPA award-winner

We submitted the Building Stronger Communities through Volunteering in Schools project to the European Parents Association (EPA) in consideration for their prestigious ALCUIN Award, which highlights the crucial role of parents in the education of their child. We are delighted to say that the project won the ALCUIN award for 2016, and that the hard work and dedication of everybody involved has been recognised internationally as well as nationally. 


Our Policy and Communications Director Michelle Doyle Wildman and Executive Director Emma Williams with the EPA ALCUIN Award 2016.

The background

PTA UK worked in partnership with the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland to deliver the Building Stronger Communities through Volunteering in Schools programme. 

The department's support meant we could trial a new way for schools to recruit parent and family volunteers, particularly in communities and settings where volunteering has not traditionally been the norm.

Our aims were to:

  • Built a more inclusive community of volunteers in Northern Ireland - we wanted everyone to feel they could volunteer
  • Improve children's lives at school and strengthen school communities - we know from the work done by PTA volunteers in schools around the UK what a positive impact volunteers can have on their children's schools.

The pilot Building Stronger Communities through Volunteering in Schools programme ran from August 2015 to June 2016 and has now finished. Having thoroughly absorbed the independent evaluation from CENI, we are confident that the programme has enormous potential to make a positive impact in other educational institutions too. It demonstrates that there is an appetite to volunteer in parents, even where there has been no history of it, and that a big difference can be made in a short space of time. 

See the project summary here

See the longer project report here

See coverage of the project in the Irish News

If you would like to work with us on bringing Building Stronger Communities through Volunteering in Schools to your school or local area, please get in touch at