Our PTFA

What does the PTFA do?

Our PTFA has been an integral part of the school community at Sywell for many years.  Its main purpose is to fundraise for ‘extra’ items or experiences to enrich the children’s education and learning environment. 

However an important secondary aim is to support a happy, friendly school community through social events and activities that bring children, staff, parents and friends together in support of the school.

What are the benefits of having a Friends association?

The children benefit from the ‘extras’ funds which enhance their school experience, like coaches for school trips, play equipment or visits by a theatre company.  They also benefit from social events they enjoy, like discos, a Christmas party, an Easter chick hunt.

Parents benefit from getting to know the school better by working with the staff to improve the school.  It also helps parents get to know other parents by taking part in a range of activities.

In addition to the enhancement of the learning environment, the school benefits by reaching volunteers and enthusiasts who may be able to help with   school projects.

How do we raise money?

Like most PTFAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Typical events throughout the year include:

Christmas Fair

Discos (Valentines and end of year)

Summer Fete

Craft evenings

Easter chick hunt & raffle

Hot dog evenings

We also try to include some non-event fundraising, such as

Bag2School clothing collections

Sales of artwork, Christmas cards, calendars…

Summer bedding plants sale

Sale of recycled uniform (always available)

Spring flowering bulbs sale

Webshop www.buy.at/sywellceschool

Most fundraising activities rely on the goodwill of the committee and other volunteers, who donate time, money, items for sale, donations for raffles or offers of services and skills.  We are also well supported by local businesses who donate goods or ‘experiences’ as raffle prizes.

How do we spend the money we raise?

In the main funds raised are for the ‘extras’ not provided by the school budget, that make our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting. 

We aim to spend money on things that will benefit the children directly, and that throughout the year will benefit all our children across all areas of the school and curriculum.

Our biggest spend recently has been fundraising for the enhanced building work and also the outdoor play equipment and playground markings. However, whilst saving for this, we have still managed to find funds for smaller items thanks to the generous and continued support of our parents:  Every year we contribute to the cost of a school trip for each class, and funded the children’s Christmas party and visit from Santa (an annual commitment). 

In addition to our school spending we pay an annual membership fee to the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA), which provides us with subscription linked insurance cover.

Our PTFA has a just giving page and we are a registered charity. We have recently held events such as a wine tasting evening,'big auction' sponsored bile rides and our current project is the publication of a prayer and prose book including contributions from many celebrities and the children.

How does the PTFA work?

 We are a registered charity, and must abide by Charity Commission regulations.   We are bound by a constitution, which sets out rules about how we operate, and we update the Charity Commission annually on our activities and fundraising.  A copy of our constitution can be provided on request.

Our committee usuallyconsists of 3 Officers (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary).  We also have between 10 and 12 other members, including staff, to make up the full committee.   We meet on a regular basis, usually once per half term, to discuss fundraising and spending plans, which are communicated to parents via the school newsletter (published on Fridays), the noticeboard and the school website. 

 Our Annual General Meeting is held at the beginning of the academic year.  This is an opportunity for parents to hear in more detail about the prior year’s fundraising and spending, and to have a say in the coming year’s goals and activities.  It is also the occasion when we elect our new committee.  We send a newsletter out after this meeting informing you about the new committee.

How could you help? 

All parents/carers are welcome to join – we will be grateful for whatever time, expertise, contacts or ideas you have to offer.  There are many ways to contribute, from designing a leaflet to running a stall at the Christmas Fair.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you can’t come into school.  Many small but vital jobs can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare e.g. wrapping gifts, filling jam jars with sweets etc.  If you would like more information please leave your details at the school office and a committee member will contact you.