The aim of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) is to foster better relationships between parents and their children's schools.
PTAs create a partnership which helps the school listen to and deal with parents' concerns; and for parents to learn more about the school and how to improve their children's education. PTAs do not necessarily represent the views of all parents but they can be an excellent forum for communication and a basis for partnership between parents and schools.
If your school has a PTA, or is in the process of setting one up, you may find some of the following suggestions helpful.
Remember that some parents may find the school environment intimidating. You may wish to consider holding the meeting elsewhere or allow time specifically for new members to say something. This should go some way to counteracting reticence on their part.
Bear in mind the varied lifestyles of both parents and teachers which may mean that many have trouble attending regular meetings. This should not be taken to be a sign of disinterest. You may wish to produce a newsletter to help those who cannot attend meetings get involved.
Consider the practical activities arising from the PTA as it may be useful to have a register of people able and willing to babysit so that single parents can attend whatever their circumstances.
Ensure that the existence of the PTA is well publicised, so that parents of children new to the school are made aware and encouraged to attend.
Teachers should inform parents of ways in which they can help in the school and who to contact. This information could become part of the PTA newsletter, if you decide to have one.
For more information about PTAs, and how to go about setting one up at your school, please visit the website of the Parent Teacher Associations UK (PTA-UK).