PTA meeting 27th of February, 2018
Hardeep Singh – Joelle White – Katie Hone – Jill O’Donovan – Leng Forrest – Mrs Bond – Mrs Maher.
Deep chaired the session.
· Welcome and thanks
Deep welcomed everyone to the meeting.
· Events and actions since last meeting
Actions since last meeting:
- Check with Mrs Daniels about what was needed (books or iPad applications). Jill got confirmation that it was the iPad applications and all is now up to date.
- The Disco Night has been cancelled.
- Contact with Happy Circus.
Happy Circus stated they do not take responsibility for whatever happens to the field and the running track. The track company confirmed it is possible to drive over it by using protections. In case of rain, they recommend to think of either sides of the track and of potential track marks. They advise to use 10 mm thick plywood, to set before, over and past the track.
Deep suggested 2 types of covers:
o wooden ones in plywood, £18 a sheet, that would last for 2 or 3 uses maximum, especially if they get wet.
o harder plastic ones, £700 for a 8ft x 4ft (the biggest ones), as the ones used in big events. We could gradually acquire more over the years. They would be reusable for several years and Deep reckoned, as the track is 4ft wide, that 6 boards per crossing should do. Jill said we would have to think about how to store them.
Deep has planned to get in touch with people working in construction, in order to obtain a few quotes and a possible discount.
The bottom line is that we can go ahead with Happy Circus as we have a solution for the time being, with cheap wooden boards that will do for now. We also have time to work out and invest into a more lasting solution.
- New constitution.
Jo has validated Katie’s registration on the Parentkind website (previously PTA UK). The new constitution will need to be run through the committee and ideally done and submitted before the end of the school year.
Events since last meeting:
- Quiz Night, 2nd of February.
Thank you to Katie for organising it this year, it was very successful and raised £1,700, which is a very good result for that event.
Katie said that all went smoothly with the organisation on the day. The new ticket sale system created some confusion at first. It was decided by the committee that each year group would get one table allocated at first, in order to make it fair across all the parents and make sure everyone stood an equal chance to claim a ticket. It became an issue for people who were used to get set up with their own table, but everyone who wanted a place got one and people could mix up between years on a same table on the day.
Beers ran out quicker than usual, after the first round, so it would be advisable to increase the number of beers next time.
As it was Alfie’s last year, the committee will have to find a new volunteer to be Quizmaster as of next year, as the Quiz Night is such a popular event.
- Deep will get quotes for the track protections and obtain some ready for the Summer Fair.
- Deep and Katie will work together on a new constitution, before submitting it to the committee.
· Financial update
Jill said there was nothing major since the last meeting.
Some money came in through the easyfundraising, and the proceeds from the Quiz Night.
We currently have £7,500 in the bank, giving us £5,500 available to spend and allocate.
Mrs Bond passed on the following list of items:
- £270 towards a planetarium workshop for Years 5 and 6.
The committee asked whether this came under the money already allocated towards curriculum at the start of this school year (£250 per class). Mrs Bond will ask Mrs Daniels and get back to us.
- £470 + VAT for a computer coding workshop, designed on the model of escape rooms.
- £8,000 for an outside climbing wall for Years 1 and 2.
Mrs Daniels has put in a charity bid for this item and is asking the committee if, in the case the bid turns unsuccessful, we would agree on principle to contribute towards the cost. Deep asked to check with Mrs Daniels is she knows when she will get an answer for her bid. The committee felt it was a good item to support, as Year 1 and 2 are the only ones without an outside apparatus to play with, unlike Reception and KS2.
- £2,268 for a paid version of Seesaw (school license).
Year 4 are currently piloting the free version, allowing the teachers and the pupils to publish photos taken on school trips, during workshops, art sessions, etc. The registered parents get a notification when something new has been published and have access to their own child’s diary, with the possibility to see what is done at school and to leave a comment.
The paid version would allow the application to be managed for the entire school, rather than individually by each class, at the moment. It will also allow the works to be kept and used towards assessment by the teachers.
Mrs Bond asked if the PTA would agree on principle to contribute towards the cost and she will go ahead with the purchase, once the Wi-Fi system has been sorted out at school, as it is quite limiting at the moment.
- New cabin equipment.
Deep asked about what we had decided for this item. As the cabin will be built during Summer, the committee agreed that the proceeds generated by the Summer Fair can be directed towards it.
- Track protections.
Jill asked Deep how much money we needed to keep aside to purchase the protections. Deep suggested to allow up to £1,000 for this year.
- Happy Circus.
Happy Circus will have to be paid £3,000, within a week after their performance, independently of how much we raise at the event. Jill asked whether we should think about keeping some money aside, in case something does not go as planned. We do always have £2,000 as working capital, which, in that case, could be used as contingency.
The committee therefore agreed on
- £270 on planetarium (unless this has already been allocated under curriculum).
- £470 + VAT on computer coding.
- £1,000 max for track protection.
On principle, the committee also agreed on
- £2,268 for paid version of Seesaw.
- contributing towards the climbing wall.
- Mrs Bond will check with Mrs Daniels for the timeline on the charity bid and for the planetarium workshop before getting back to the committee.
· Calendar of future events
Term 4 (19th of February – 29th of March)
- Bags to school.
It will take place on the 21st of March in the morning.
Term 5 (16th of April – 25th of May)
- Bingo Night/Fashion Show/anything else.
Any event is possible in that term, preferably for a family-orientated event around the children. If anyone has any suggestion or would like to organise an event, do get in touch with us (). The decision can be made at the next meeting.
- Sports Day.
The date is yet to be announced.
Term 6 (6th of June – 24th of July)
- New parents meeting.
The date is yet to be announced.
- Picnic for new parents.
The date is yet to be announced.
- Summer Fair, 8th of July, Happy Circus.
It will be necessary to open the event to more than just the school, as we need to aim to sell 600 tickets (a full marquee).
Debating on the price, the committee estimated £8/ticket to be a fair price, child and adult alike. Jill also suggested, as a gesture, to offer a free refreshment on presentation of the ticket (coffee/tea/squash), and the ticket can be stamped/perforated once the drink has been claimed. Sarah said previously she could set up an online system to sell the tickets. At that price, it will make £1,800 profit on the entrance only (if we sell out), knowing we would just break even by selling 375 tickets.
Leng suggested to put a banner by the roundabout near Cookham nursery to promote the event.
Deep explained the layout of the stalls will need to be carefully thought off, as the marquee and the vans from Happy Circus will occupy most of the school field. They will arrive at 8am to set up.
Mrs Bond asked whether it will be allowed to eat and drink within the marquee. If not, we will have to plan food and drink sales carefully.
Katie asked whether the school loos in KS2 will be sufficient, as a lot of people will need to use them in a short period of time (namely the interval between the shows). Jo suggested to ask Happy Circus what schools tend to provide generally on that respect, as portable loos could potentially be pricey and an extra thing to look into and set up.
As far as the organisation of the show goes, the company suggests allowing 30 minutes for people to sit down before the first half of the performance (45 minutes). This is followed by a 30 minutes interval (although they may be flexible and we might be able to increase this) before the second half of the performance (45 minutes). They aim to finish at 4pm, as they will pack up and leave the premises on the day. The timings can be discussed and pre-arranged with Happy Circus.
The main stalls being bar and BBQ, the committee strongly insisted on the fact they need to be managed differently than usual this time. For the BBQ, we need to plan to have all the food cooked and kept warm until serving time. Jill advised to get foil-type covers to keep the cooked meat in. More volunteers will be needed to hand out the food and the drinks, as it will not be a continuous flow of people, but rather a large volume all at once.
Jo recommended to state clearly to the volunteers that the stalls cannot be left unattended during the performances, implying some helpers will have to miss the show or parts of it.
Deep advised Leng to have as many meetings as needed between the Year 5 parents, starting with:
- what stalls are required
- the stalls’ layout, as they will have to be set up on the playgrounds, how to organise bar and BBQ so they are efficient and practical, etc.
- timings, rota between volunteers, as the usual board with the 1h slots will not be suitable this time.
- Jo will ask Michaela if she can contact the parents reps for ideas of a family event for Term 5.
- Leng will get in touch with the Year 5 parents to set up meetings about the Summer Fair.
· Any other business
- PTA bank accounts.
Jill explained the accounts we currently have are not exactly that practical.
- a savings account with £1,000.
- a CAF account with a chequebook, allowing two signatures, with a £5/month as a compulsory fee.
- a Nationwide account, very archaic and not allowing online banking.
Jill had a look around and found Santander was proposing a better deal:
- chequebook and online banking
- no fee
- deposit via the Post Office
- only downside: one signature.
The advantage of two signatures is it gives an extra layer of check/security when we pay out money. But Jill said the signature does not have to be hers anyway. Jill would strongly prefer to move to online banking, as it feels backwards to still deal with cheques, especially when handing over small amounts that people do not cash in very quickly.
Mrs Bond suggested to see with HSBC, as they allow two signatures, one person in charge on the online banking, and no fee.
Jill said she will therefore have another look and get back to the committee.
- Jill will look into the HSBC accounts vs Santander.
Next meeting : Wednesday 25th April, 7:30pm