A parent-teacher association (PTA) or parent-teacher-student association (PTSA) is a formal organization composed of parents, teachers and staff that is intended to facilitate parental participation in a school.
- 1 Australia and New Zealand
- 2 India
- 3 United Arab Emirates
- 4 United Kingdom
- 5 United States
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Australia and New Zealand
In Australia, the function of PTAs is filled by Parents and Citizens Associations, which are governed by both state and national organisational bodies.
Indian Schools have PTAs and the government has run initiatives to create awareness of PTAs amongst parents, teachers and school management. There is no national PTA organisation.
National Policy on Education, 1986
Government education schemes such as Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have advocated community mobilisation and involvement. Under RMSA every school should have a PTA. State District Management Committees (SDMCs) should co-exist with PTAs and leverage their functions. PTAs which should conduct meetings at least once a month and present SDMCs with a register of complaints, suggestions and actions taken. In 2013-14 37.54% of the schools in India had a PTA. A 2010 study suggested that 50% of parents in rural areas and 45% in urban areas were aware of the existence of school PTAs.
In 1996 the Maharashtra government declared PTAs mandatory in all schools within the state. By 2014 50% of the schools had a PTA. State guidelines for PTAs included:
- The parents of every student shall be members of a PTA
- The PTA does not interfere in the day-to-day administration of the schools
- 50% of PTA members should be women
- Duties of the PTA committee should involve assisting the school in planning and organising educational programs, seeing the syllabus is completed, to collect and present information regarding school fees
The government of Delhi made PTAs mandatory in government-aided and private unaided schools. All parents are members of the PTA. PTA elections should be every other year and the PTA should hold a general meeting at least once a year. 78.21% of the schools in Delhi have a PTA.
Decentralisation of school management was promoted though the setting up of PTAs under SSA. A 2016 government ewport stated that 25% of parents were aware of the existence of PTAs, 43% of the schools had PTAs and 39% of PTAs met regularly.
Tamil Nadu government policy includes the demand that PTAs should work towards pupil enrollment and attendance and assist in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning.
PTAs in India
A 2010 survey of parents of schoolchildren for the government of India reported that 50% of respondents were aware of PTAs or MTAs (Mother Teacher Associations) and 16% were members.
|State||Aware of PTA(%)||Members of PTA(%)||Willing to join PTA (%)|
United Arab Emirates
There are plans to organize a PTA in the United Arab Emirates at governmental schools such as ATHS (Applied Technology High School). They are present in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
In the United Kingdom Parent Teacher Associations are common, being present in the majority of schools (sometimes called Home School Associations). A 2007 NFER study found that 83 per cent of primary schools in England and Wales and 60 per cent of secondary schools had a "PTA or equivalent". In England, Wales and Northern Ireland PTAs may choose to join PTA-UK which describes itself as "The national charity representing over 13,750 PTAs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland" which seeks "To advance education by encouraging the fullest co-operation between home and school, education authorities, central government and all other interested parties and bodies." Unlike the USA the fact that a body is called a PTA does not, in itself, imply membership of any national organisation. There is a separate, similar body for Scotland. "The Scottish Parent Teacher Council" PTAs are, in general not involved in the Governance of Schools, that is a matter for the school governing bodies, but in practice parents who are active in the PTA will tend to engage in the elections of parent representatives (Parent Governors).
|Formation||February 17, 1897
(as National Congress of Mothers)|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Headquarters||Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.|
|Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director|
|Laura Bay, president|
In the U.S., groups which use the PTA acronym are part of the National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA), a non-profit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. It is the largest and oldest volunteer organization working exclusively on behalf of children and youth.
PTA’s commitment to unified advocacy on behalf of all the nation’s children is best reflected in its motto: Every child. One voice. The overall purpose of PTA is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. Groups going by the PTA acronym at the local level are linked to the state PTA and the national PTA organization (National PTA), with the entire PTA network working on behalf of all children and youth. Every person who joins a local PTA automatically becomes a member of both the state and National PTAs, and PTA membership—including the number of affiliated units and of individual members—is close to 5 million.
PTA takes an active role in developing programs, advocacy and training, operating at the school building, district, state and national levels and working on policy that supports the educational needs of children and promotes family engagement and strong partnerships between schools and the communities they serve. Local PTA units set their own goals and missions, but they also join together to advocate and partner as a larger group. PTA is membership based and uses money from dues to offer staff support and grants and to develop national programs like the Reflections Arts in Education program and the Standards for Family-School Partnerships implementation guide.
Most public and private elementary and middle schools have a PTA, a Parent Teacher Organization or an equivalent local organization. These organizations also occur (though less frequently) at high schools and preschools. Every person who joins a local PTA automatically becomes a member of both the state and National PTAs. PTA membership — including the number of affiliated units and of individual members — has been declining for several decades.
Today, there are 54 PTA congresses: U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Europe (military families, through the U.S. Department of Defense). There are 23,000 local organizations recognized by the National PTA in the United States.
- The Reflections Arts in Education Program: The National Parent Teacher Association Reflections program encourages students to explore the arts and express themselves by giving positive recognition for their artistic efforts. Since it was founded in 1969 by Mary Lou Anderson, millions of students have benefited from this program. Through the Reflections Awards Program, your PTA can play a role in providing a positive learning environment for students that fosters self-exploration, encourages creative thinking and problem-solving, and promotes the exploration of arts and culture in the home, school and community. Any active PTA/PTSA in good standing is eligible to implement a Reflections Program.
The National Parent Teacher Association was founded on February 17, 1897, in Washington, DC, as the National Congress of Mothers by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst at a meeting of over 2,000 parents, teachers, workers, and legislators. In 1908, the organization changed its name to the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations..
Alice Birney’s original vision and Phoebe Hearst’s (wife of California U.S. Senator George Hearst and mother of publisher William Randolph Hearst) social and financial assistance came together in a burst of synergy that drew 2,000 people from across the country to discuss the issues affecting their children at the three-day event. The National Congress of Mothers quickly fanned out into a grassroots organization at state, local and nation levels.
- In 1908, the organization delegates voted to change its name to the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations.
- In 1910, charter and board member, Mary Grinnell Mears, moved that “Founders Day be observed every February 17th of the year…”
- In 1925 the association adopted the name the National Congress of Parents and Teachers.
- In 1926, National PTA President Mrs. A. H. Reeve helped set up the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers to function in the District of Columbia and states where separate schools for the races were maintained, so that African-American children might have PTA service. On May 7, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers was formed.
- In 1966, National PTA registered the terms PTA and Parent-Teacher Association as service marks with the U.S. government.
- In 1970, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (National PTA) and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT)—founded by Selena Sloan Butler in Atlanta, Ga.—merged to serve all children.
From an annual gathering of delegates determined to serve the nation’s children through an enlightened approach to education, home, environment, health and safety the National Congress of Mothers, now National Parent Teacher Association fanned out into a grassroots organization that took hold on the state and local levels as well as nationally. There were pamphlets written and distributed advising on how to organize “parents’ auxiliaries” in the public schools and offering suggestions on the best ways to form and meet, and collections of loaned materials on child-development and parenting skills were made available to parents.
The role of PTA has always been to advocate for improvements in the lives of children and youth. The PTA’s strength has helped institute countless positive changes, from the institution of school lunch and inoculation programs to the institution of child labor laws to the promotion of transportation safety, sex education, tobacco and alcohol education, and more. Even today, PTA is actively involved in working toward common goals, fighting for increased federal education funding and against school vouchers.
National PTA's Annual Public Policy
Public Policy Agenda: National PTA's annual public policy agenda outlines policy priorities and recommendations for Congress. The priorities are selected based on the timeliness of issue, opportunities for National PTA to provide leadership and expertise to Congress, alignment to National PTA’s mission and resolution and ability to achieve a meaningful policy change that will produce positive results for children and their families.
- Creation of Kindergarten classes
- Child labor laws
- Public health service
- Hot and healthy lunch programs
- Juvenile justice system
- Mandatory immunization
- Arts in Education
- School Safety
- Special Education
- Education Funding
- Early Childhood Education
- Elementary and Secondary Education
- Child nutrition
Our Children Magazine
The first issue of National Parent Teacher Association's Our Children Magazine—then named The National Congress of Mothers Magazine—was printed in November 1906. The purpose of the magazine was to give voice to National PTA’s ambitions and to spread the word of its work and mission.
The magazine’s title was changed in December 1909 to Child Welfare, when its focus was solely on the organization’s main concern. By the 1930s, the sophistication of the magazine grew tremendously as it then featured in-depth articles by leading experts in fields such as education, health and child welfare. These works were illustrated by bountiful photos and lively pen-and-ink illustrations. Starting in September 1934, the magazine received another makeover where it was published in an oversized format and renamed as the National Parent-Teacher, “to more definitely associate the publication with the parent-teacher movement.”
More changes came in 1961 with another new name—The PTA Magazine—under the editorial leadership of Eva Grant. She led the magazine to its period of widest influence and greatest circulation from 1939-1972. During that time, the magazine featured prominent regular contributors such as J. Edgar Hoover and Margaret Mead, and offered more information for parents than ever before.
In 1975, The PTA Magazine was replaced by PTA Today, a more modest publication that evolved out of the former National PTA Bulletin and appeared in tabloid form during its first three years. Eventually, PTA Today returned to a typical magazine format that was circulated mostly to local PTA units and kept them abreast of National PTA events and programs and provided useful parenting information.
The final major makeover took place in September 1995 when it was made more colorful and became Our Children in line with the founders’ theme of the first convention that “All Children Are Our Children.” In recent years, Our Children was published bi-monthly, five times per year and distributed to local and state PTA presidents, state PTA board members, state office personnel and a limited number of paid subscribers.
In fall 2015, Our Children will make the move to a digital online format that will be geared towards parents. It will be a monthly online publication, with one print edition distribution in the spring.
Parent Teacher Organization
A Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is a formal organization that consists of parents, teachers and school staff. The organization's goals may vary from organization to organization, but essentially the goals include volunteerism of parents, encouragement of teachers and students, community involvement, and welfare of students and families. It is not affiliated with Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA.) PTA is a national association of millions of members and thousands of local units that provides leadership training and staff support.
Goals and/or mission statement
Individual organizations typically establish goals and/or a mission statement. Here is a sample PTO Mission Statement from the New Franklin School PTO:
The New Franklin School PTO is a nonprofit parent/teacher organization whose membership includes all parents, legal guardians and staff at New Franklin Elementary School.
The PTO's mission is to promote open communication and understanding between parents and staff of the New Franklin Elementary School. Our efforts serve to enhance and maximize the education of every child while aiding them in achieving their highest potential.
The PTO sponsors assistance to teachers in classroom setting, holds fund-raisers for supplemental educational materials and experiences, supports school and family social interaction, and provides a non-biased forum for sharing information on issues that impact our children.
It is our belief that the team effort of a parent teacher organization offers the best possible learning environment for our children.
A PTO generally consists of a board. These members may include a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. They may also include various specialty positions, such as hospitality or programs. The board typically governs the PTO by creating and voting on meeting dates, general meeting programs, etc.
PTO versus PTA
A PTO is not the same as Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). They are similar in that both promote parent participation, but PTA takes a more active role in developing programs, advocacy and training. PTA operates at the school building, district, state and national levels and works on policy to better support children. Local PTA units set their own goals and missions, but they also join together to advocate and partner as a larger group. PTA is membership based and uses money from dues to offer staff support and grants, and to develop national programs, such as their Reflections arts in education program and their Standards for Family-School Partnerships implementation guide. A PTO is unaffiliated, local and does not pay dues to a national umbrella organization.
PTO's encourage parent, teacher and community involvement by providing programs that facilitate so these activities may include bicycle safety, drug awareness, energy conservation, reading programs, science programs, math programs and pedestrian safety.
PTO parents get involved by supporting their students, teachers and staff. Parents can volunteer to be room parents to assist with class parties or field trips. They can help set up at a carnival or health fair. They can help teachers and staff by making copies for the class.
Teachers and staff may become involved by helping to plan events that encourage the education of the students. These may include workshops, tutoring or special family nights (math, science, reading).
The students reap the benefits by the involvement and support of all the adults involved in the PTO. The PTO supports the educational goals of the school, thus extending those goals to the students.
- Parent Teacher Organization (PTOs)
- Parents and Citizens Associations (Australia)
- Alberta School Councils' Association (Canada)
- National Policy on Education, 1986
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
- Mohanty, Jagannath (2005). Educational Management Supervision. Hyderabad: Neelkamal Publications Pvt. Ltd. p. 338.
- "National Policy on Education, 1986; Programme on Action 1992" (PDF). Ministry of Human Resource Development.
- "Secondary Education in India, State Report Cards 2013-14" (PDF). District Information System for Education.
- "Evaluation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, May 2010" (PDF). Government of India Planning Commission.
- "Guiding principles for establishing -Teachers Associations in the recognized permanent private non-aided schools from the state of Maharashtra" (PDF). K12 Schools in India.
- "DoE, Delhi PTA" (PDF). Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools.
- "Field Survey by Samarthan, centre for development support, Bhopal" (PDF). Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Madhya Pradesh.
- "School Education Department Policy Notes on Demand No. 43 School Education 2011-2012" (PDF). Investing in Tamil Nadu.
- "Evaluation on Sarva Siksha Abhiyan" (PDF). Planning Commission, Government of India.
- Lewis, K.; Chamberlain, T.; Riggall, A.; Gagg, K; Rudd, P (2007). Annual Survey of Trends in Education 2007: Schools' Concerns and their Implications for Local Authorities (PDF). Slough: National Foundation for Educational Research. p. 2. ISBN 9781905314744. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "PTA-UK Advancing Education | Supporting PTAs". Pta.org.uk. 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Scottish Parent Teacher Council - Promoting Partnerships in Scottish Education". Sptc.info. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "FAQs / PTA Annual Report". National PTA (United States). Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- Bassi, Robert A; Herzog, Susan E.; Morris, Robert R. (1997). The PTA Story: A Century of Commitment to Children. Walsworth Publishing Company, Inc. p. 143. ISBN 9780881090017.
- "National PTA History". Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Tillman, Elvena B. (January 1, 1971). Edward T. James, ed. Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary: Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary. I. Belknap Press. pp. 147–48. ISBN 9780674627345.
- Bassi, Robert A.; Herzog, Susan E.; Morris, Robert R. The PTA Story: A Century of Commitment to Children. p. 26. ISBN 9780881090017.
- "PTA History: 1910-1919". PTA. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "PTA History: 1920-1929". PTA. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Bassi, Robert A.; Herzog, Suzan E.; Morris, Robert R. The PTA Story: A Century of Commitment to Children. p. 51. ISBN 9780881090017.
- Bassi, Robert A.; Herzog, Susan E.; Morris, Robert R. The PTA Story: A Century of Commitment to Children. Walsworth Publishing Company, Inc. p. 27. ISBN 9780881090017.
- "New Franklin School PTO Mission Statement". New Franklin School PTO. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-11-15.