Building a PTA community from scratch

A PlanSocial Case Study

Samuel Ryder Academy PTA tells us how PlanSocial helped them scale up their volunteer base and build a strong school community by improving PTA communications and increasing volunteer sign-ups.

This is a great example of a large and growing urban school whose PTA needed an independent way to rally help from their supporters, and help them feel part of the school.

#primaryschool #secondaryschool #volunteers #summerfair #community #communication

Heart shaped word jumble with Volunteering, Giving, Happiness, Unity, Love, Teamwork, Success, Friendship

Tell us about your school

Samuel Ryder Academy is a new school in Hertfordshire which is growing fast.

What have you done so far to fundraise as a PTA?

We do Fun Days with activities for the kids and we sell food and drink too. Last year our Fun Day was run by just 5 people so it was very small.

This year we used PlanSocial to recruit volunteers, and it helped to get more people on board, so this time we had 30 people involved. A great improvement!

How has the growth of your school affected the PTA?

There are lots of new people all at once, so it's a bit of a challenge to connect with each other, get to know each other. However, we’ve just done a recruitment drive for volunteers from the primary and secondary school, and a lot more people are coming on board.

They do seem to like using PlanSocial once they get in the habit of checking what's on. We’ve got a new committee and over 50% of the sign ups are from the new intake of parents.

Do you use PlanSocial for anything else apart from recruiting volunteers?

We share our meeting minutes via PlanSocial, meaning we no longer have to add to the workload of the school office. PlanSocial is becoming a part of school life, as it's how parents expect to hear the news and events. 

What were the problems you had before using PlanSocial?

Communications were appalling before. It was just playground chitchat when we were a very small school. But as we grew, we couldn’t spread information through the playground alone.

Parents did not know what was going on, but did want to be involved at some level. Because there was a poor level of communication, many people felt the PTA was cliquey, which was not our intention.

What are the best benefits of PlanSocial?

Communication and inclusion. With PlanSocial, people feel included. Communications are transparent so anyone can get involved.

Whether or not they want to be part of PTA events is their decision. We’ve had six times as many volunteers, so we know it definitely helps more people to get involved!

Without a doubt, we did not have a community before, and now thanks to PlanSocial, we do.

Ready to benefit from PlanSocial in your school?

Start a free hub now for up to 20 volunteers, sell tickets for your summer fair, and pre-sell food, drink and activity timeslots.

Upgrade if you'd like to get the whole school volunteering to lighten the load of everyone involved. The more the merrier! :)