High School for Girls' PTA Policies
The PTA is an independent voluntary organisation, consisting of parents, supported by teachers and the school. Our purpose is to support the school in improving and augmenting the facilities already in place.
In order to achieve our purpose, the PTA recognises that the:
- Money raised coming from PTA events which are held in a safe and well-managed way.
- All PTA profit is spent on improving experiences of students at the High School for Girls.
- Committee members declare any interests that conflict with the PTA purpose.
Holding events and dealing with finance means that there are risks to be managed & mitigated. The PTA has therefore decided to adopt the following policies & procedures to ensure that our purpose is achieved, namely:
- Risk Management (Physical) – see page 2.
- Risk Management (Financial) – see page 2-5.
- Conflict of Interests – see page 6.
- Complaints handling – see page 7.
- DPA protection for members – see page 8.
- Safeguarding children – see page 9.
Members of the PTA Committee have agreed the following PTA policies and procedures.
These policies will be available on the HSFG web-site and all Committee members are responsible for making themselves aware of our duties and polices.
The PTA will review our policies annually.
Amendments will be made on a simple majority of the Committee and in the event of a tie the Chairman will have a casting vote.
HSFG PTA Committee [Agreed at the meeting on 01/02/2016]
Risk Management (Physical)
The PTA Committee will decide, by simple majority, which events will take place in any school year. In the event of a tie the Chairman will have the deciding vote. In accordance with the PTA purpose it is important that risks at any event are removed or minimized.
Health and safety are key considerations for the PTA. Before putting on any event one or more members will carry out a full risk assessment providing a record of its findings that can be produced in the event of an incident. The extent of the assessment will depend on the nature of the event and will be held by the school office for a period of 12 months.
The HSE does not expect a risk assessment to be perfect, but it must be suitable and sufficient. However, the PTA has a duty of care to show that:
- It undertook a comprehensive check.
- It sought advice taken from the school/venue and local authority (if applicable).
- It identified who might be affected.
- Appropriate steps to deal with hazards were agreed.
- Precautions to reduce the risk were understood and any remaining risk was low.
- All Committee members are aware of the process.
The guidance on how to produce a risk assessment can be found in the HSFG PTA Risk Assessment Guidance [Reference 1] which provides the background and procedure for PTA members to assess risks and to take reasonable steps to reduce their likelihood of occurring.
Risk Management (Financial)
In order to achieve its purpose, the PTA recognises that steps must be taken to ensure that all profit is collected, securely held and spent or given to appropriate people to spend on items or services that improve and augment the HSFG facilities.
The key areas are:
- The role of the Treasurer including the collection, saving and payment of monies.
- The role of the Committee in identifying and approving appropriate causes.
- The individual role of each Committee member in declaring conflict of interests.
The PTA Committee is collectively responsible for its finances and must formally agree to any project. However, it is the responsibility of the Treasurer to ensure that all financial transactions are presented and recorded correctly.
The following controls will be applied when managing the money raised by the PTA:
- All purchases over £100 must be agreed by the Committee before they are made.
- All donations to the school shall be approved by the Committee either at Committee meetings or via majority agreement email in extraordinary circumstances.
- The maximum payment that will be given for expenses without a receipt is £5. If one is not available, then a petty cash slip signed by the Treasurer and recipient will suffice.
- There will be no payment of expense claims to Committee members for petrol, telephone or childcare costs incurred when organising PTA events.
- All other purchases including stationery costs will be paid when accompanied by receipts as long as they have been agreed in principle by the Committee.
Bank Account Management
The bank accounts will be maintained according to the following rules:
- The bank mandate shall require two out of three or four signatories for each cheque.
- The Treasurer is authorised to operate the bank accounts and will retain passwords for electronic banking. Electronic banking will only allow viewing of transactions and statements plus movement of money between PTA accounts.
- Movement between the current account and the parental donation (gift aid) account and any savings account will be by the Treasurer following agreement from the Chair or other signatory.
- The Treasurer shall make a regular review of deposit, investment and current accounts suitable for charities.
There are extra rules for the handling of cash due to the difficulty of tracking transactions:
- For large events, such as the Summer Fayre, there will be a minimum of two people counting cash.
- Money from events will be banked within a week of the event unless required for petty cash to pay outstanding expenses or for floats at future events.
- A maximum of £120 will be held in petty cash for payments for expenses, and these will be used to provide the float for future events with exception of the Summer Fayre. The additional funds required for this event shall be provided by the Treasurer and recovered from cash takings.
Accounts and Recording Transactions
The Treasurer shall keep the accounts up to date in order to produce accurate reports for the Committee and to keep track of cash and bank balances:
- The Treasurer shall produce an income and expenditure statement and bank reconciliation for all Committee meetings plus breakdown of events as requested.
- The Treasurer will make arrangements for a simple audit/independent examination of the accounts at the end of the financial year. This should be a financially competent person or local accountant, who is not on the Committee or related to a Committee member.
- The Treasurer shall record the flow of money into and out of the PTA:
- All the money received by the PTA must be recorded, no matter how small the amount may be. The full income figure should be recorded and not netted against any expenditure.
- All payments made from the account or out of cash income must be recorded and the receipt should be produced before the payment is made.
- Bills must be paid when they are due.
- Donations to the school must be recorded and broken down into general headings so that everyone knows what the money was used for.
PTA-UK's subscription linked insurance provides its members with cover against fraud or dishonesty by any member of the Committee, including the Treasurer.
It is a condition of the current policy that cheques bear two signatures and an independent annual examination or audit of the accounts is carried out by someone other than a Committee member or their relatives.
It is the responsibility of the Committee as a whole to ensure that the above is adhered to.
The Treasurer must also ensure that a reasonable standard of care and supervision of the PTA's monetary affairs is implemented. For limits covered please refer to the current PTA-UK Insurance summary http://www.pta.org.uk/Member-Benefits/Insurance.
Identifying Facilities & Spending Funds
In order to ensure that the profit the PTA makes is spent on items or services that improve or augment the facilities at HSFG for the benefit of all pupils, the PTA will allocate in accordance with three key areas namely:
- Supporting regular contributions via Library subscription and funds for prize-giving.
- Supporting faculty requests from students and teachers.
- Spending up to 50% of funds on large projects.
The PTA can agree to change the amount spent on large projects at a full meeting if there are reasons for doing so and a simple majority of members agrees to do so. Such a decision will be recorded in the minutes.
During the year the PTA will invite the Ministries and Faculty Heads to submit bids for monies with an explanation of why the funds are needed together with their cost.
The PTA will consider the requests taking into account:
- Any previous large expenditure to that area in the previous year.
- Any other large expenditure items that have been agreed.
Where the PTA agrees a purchase, the requester will be informed and the Treasurer will release the money to the HSFG Finance Officer once the purchase cost has been confirmed. Where possible, the requester will make the purchase using EasyFundraising web links.
At any PTA Committee meeting which agrees expenditure members will be reminded of the Conflicts of Interests policy and asked to declare any such conflicts before decisions are reached.
 It may be useful to break down income sources within an event in order to look at profitability of each part of the event
 The Treasurer should request proof from the school, in the form of an invoice or a signed certificate, as confirmation that the money has been spent on the items for which it was raised.
Conflict of Interests
The PTA Committee understands that it is our duty to make decisions that are in the best interests of the PTA. We know that where any of us hold a personal or other interest, this will stop us from achieving this duty and acting in the best interests of our PTA. Our PTA Committee takes the following steps to identify and deal with any conflicts of interest.
We make all new Committee members aware of this policy and the advice on conflicts of interest from PTA UK http://www.pta.org.uk/Info-sheets/Conflicts-of-interest and the Charity Commission for England and Wales https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-a-conflict-of-interest-in-your-charity
We ask all Committee members to declare any conflict of interest:
- When they are newly appointed.
- At every Committee meeting where expenditure is to be agreed.
- Whenever a Committee member becomes aware of a conflict of interest.
Any conflicts will be noted in the Committee meeting minutes and then used to update a separate register of conflicts of interest. This is available to all our Committee members upon request from the Secretary or Chair.
Any Committee member with an identified conflict is asked to withdraw from any discussion of and/or vote on that issue. Where conflicts of interest arise, we detail in the minutes of the Committee meeting how this is addressed.
Where possible, our PTA works to make sure there is a good mix of parents and staff from across the school that are involved in our PTA. This stops any one part of the school from being overly represented.
Where decisions may favour a year group, subject area or particular aspect of the school over others, we ensure that we have specifically consulted (school, governors, members) as we see fit to ensure this is appropriate; and over a period of time, we ensure that all aspects of the school benefit and that this benefit is close to being equal.
We review this policy annually (in advance of our AGM) and make it available to our members via the school website so they understand how the Committee is operating in the best interests of the PTA.
In order to work effectively the PTA recognises it needs to handle data appropriately and deal with complaints.
Through the provision of its policies and procedures the PTA Committee intends that parents / carers will be able to see what money is spent and understand in overview the decisions of the Committee. However, it is recognised that complaints may arise, either about a Committee decision or individual Committee members. In the event of a complaint the following procedure will apply:
The Chairman will reply to the complainer, having satisfied themselves as to the nature of the complaint and the action of the member / Committee if not already known.
In the event that the complaint is made about the Chairman, the Secretary or Treasurer will perform the above role.
If the matter is not resolved the PTA Committee will meet to decide the response and then follow the HSFG school complaints procedure http://www.hsfg.org/attachments/download.asp?file=113 which escalates any issues to the Head Teacher.
Data Protection Guidance
To help improve communication between members, and to assist with the organisation of events, the PTA collects, stores and uses personal information about their members, including home address details, telephone numbers and/or email addresses.
As the PTA only holds personal data for the purposes of membership or for providing and administering activities for members then we recognise that we are exempt from registering as a data controller. The fact that the PTA holds personal data on Committee and/or members does however imply we have a duty to use this information responsibly.
Legitimate Reasons for Data Being Held
The PTA will only hold information about members in these circumstances:
- The Secretary holds a list of all volunteers that wish to be sent a copy of the meeting minutes or are willing to be asked to volunteer at events.
- The Refreshments Manager holds a list of volunteers to help serve drinks at Open Evenings and Parents’ Evenings. They will use this information to construct a rota.
- The Treasurer holds the completed Gift Aid and PTA donation forms in order to manage the tracking of donations and claiming gift aid from HMRC.
- The Treasurer submits the personal details of the Trustees (Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Headteacher) to the Charity Commission and they assume responsibility for securely holding this data.
Ensuring Responsible Use
The PTA will ensure that the information it holds is subject to the following controls:
- Data will be deleted when no longer required either because the member has left or has asked to be removed from the volunteer lists.
- HMRC rules for gift aid require that we hold onto donor details for six years following the end of the accounting year in which the last donation occurred https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-detailed-guidance-notes/chapter-3-gift-aid#chapter-330-how-long-records-should-be-kept and at this point the PTA will destroy the forms holding personal financial data.
- Members will be aware that we hold this information because they have voluntarily supplied it when filling in PTA forms or sign-up sheets.
- Forms which request personal information will clearly state how data is to be held/used.
- No data held on members will be passed onto third parties outside the Committee and will only be shared within Committee on a need-to-know basis.
- Data on hardcopy or softcopy forms will be held securely as far as reasonably possible.
- Email circulations will ensure members are blind copied and all member emails should go through the Secretary for distribution.
The Information Commission Office has a guide, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/charity which aims to answer questions regularly raised by charities and voluntary organisations.
The PTA have adopted the HSFG Safeguarding policy http://www.hsfg.org/attachments/download.asp?file=108 as we believe this offers appropriate support for such risks given the overriding duty of the school.
All PTA members will be required to read the guidance once a year and any concerns for students that PTA members identify during PTA events will be brought to the HSFG Safeguarding Officer.
- HSFG PTA Risk Assessment Guidance: [add website link to our document when uploaded]
- PTA-UK Insurance Conditions: http://www.pta.org.uk/Member-Benefits/Insurance
- PTA-UK conflict of interest guidance: http://www.pta.org.uk/Info-sheets/Conflicts-of-interest (login access needed).
- Charity Commission conflict of interest guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-a-conflict-of-interest-in-your-charity
- HSFG School Complaints procedure: http://www.hsfg.org/attachments/download.asp?file=113
- HMRC gift aid donor information retention rules: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-detailed-guidance-notes/chapter-3-gift-aid#chapter-330-how-long-records-should-be-kept
- Information Commission Office Guidance on Information Handling:
- HSFG School Safeguarding policy: http://www.hsfg.org/attachments/download.asp?file=108