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Meeting Minutes 16th January 2024

16/01/2024 – 7pm Claremont Primary School

PRESENT: :  Claire Summers (Chair), Natalie Jolliffe (Vice chair), Shagun Bansal (Treasurer), Niloufer Jamal (Secretary), Candi Roberts (Headteacher), Sara O’Malley (Committee Member), Emma Butterworth (Committee Member), Lucy Prior (Committee Member), Nicki Taylor (Committee Member), Emma Claridge (Committee Member), Cat Christodoulou, Jennie Fong, Lisa Gammon, Vanessa Sharpe, Ami Parker

1.     APOLOGIES: Jenny Brown (Committee Member), Samantha Walker (Committee Member), Emma Claridge (Committee Member), Ben Dryland (Committee Member

2.     Chair Update

-    CS welcomed all attendees and invited introductions from all.

-    CS summarised some highlights from Term 2. Chip-In was launched - 43 direct debits were set up and 16 one-off donations made. Huge thank you to all families who have signed up. Playground sales increased and have been running smoothly. CS gave thanks to Jennie and everyone who has been involved with it. The now annual wreath-making workshop ran successfully again and received much positive feedback. Thanks to Ami & all involved. Cinema club & the various Christmas events also ran smoothly and were a success, enjoyed by the children. Thanks to Loran, Theo and team for another amazing Secret Room, to Lucy Lamb & co for the Xmas lunch, and the friends of the PTA who helped decorate the school, chaperoned cinema club and all who helped in many ways.

-    CS provided some administrative updates:

-    A new dropbox folder has been set up with access granted to all committee members to use and file. CS reminded all to actively use this as important for record keeping and handovers.

-    The Auditor has approved the 2021-2022 accounts which will now be submitted. Thank you to Andrew Gray for volunteering for this job.

-    Sara O’Malley (outgoing secretary) is reviewing the constitution with view of updating it inline with Parentkind model constitution.

-    Work is ongoing to procure 3 new signage boards to promote the PTA at each gate- thanks to Mrs Brookbank in the school office and Natalie J for efforts on this.

-    CS nominated Lisa G to join the committee - seconded by Natalie J.

-    LG sought clarification on whether the person nominating an expense was able to vote. S’OM confirmed current constitution doesn’t specifically prevent this. Model constitution specifies 50% of members rather than current quorum of 7.


Action - Natalie J to liaise with BD to verify Chip-In numbers on his return to Committee business.

Action: SO’M to consider voting requirement as part of constitution review.

3.    Treasurer Update

-    A new financial summary report was shared with the committee

Highlights from the summary include:

-    Healthy balance of cash in bank at £34,255.66

-    Profit from events was £4,788.81. This includes new events success such as playground sales and growth in wreath making.

-    Successful donations of £2,736.69. With the launch of Chip-in in November, we are expecting earnings to grow as it hasn’t been as successful as we hoped it would have been.

-    Many annual overheads were paid in Autumn term so won’t be required again. Future reports will also include liabilities (e.g. expenditure agreed but not yet paid for).


Feedback was requested on the format. CS requested a forecast year-end balance is include, to support funding decision making

4.     Funding

-    CR thanked the PTA for support to date this year - smart new PE tops, fully funded Panto trip, £50 per class for DT budgets, and recent matched funding of £8,000 for the pathway repair and improvements. The canopies funded last year have proven to be very useful. 

-    CR re-shared the school’s fundraising poster for the PTA setting out areas for future funding - improving the trim trail and developing Maslow’s corners (currently not weather proofed) as two key areas plus the ongoing expected PTA contributions are towards the Y6 yearbooks, classroom contributions (increased to £150 per class teacher), IT (£15,000 to support maintenance of the school’s 32 computers, iPad trollies and all staff computers).

-  NJ expressed support for the canopies over Maslows corners which would support  PTA activities in the playground. Committee reflected that fundraising for the Trim Trail would likely be positively received by parents and CS suggested funding could be sought through a dedicated LocalGiving page.

-    NJ highlighted that if the PTA is marketing to raise money for a particular thing, the amount raised needs to be spent exclusively on that. For example, Chip-In donations must be put exclusively towards the IT. Committee noted that marketing messages need to be clear e.g. to clarify what will happen if donations go beyond the amount requested and provide parent body with updates about money raised and if met or exceeded.

-    The Committee had a discussion around the role of the PTA in supporting the school particularly in current challenging financial climate, including the rationale for the PTA in match funding the upcoming pathway repairs and improvements.


Action - CS to draft and secure Committee agreement to a blog on the reality of funding, before publishing and Niloufer J to promote on social media

5.     PTA Policies

At a previous meeting the PTA agreed to introduce a new complaints procedure policy, a safeguarding policy and a financial control & expense policy. These were previously circulated to the Committee in draft for comment and CS requested last comments from the Committee before they are finalised. 


Action: Niloufer to update policies with final comments and file final versions

Action: Natalie J/CS to upload the final policies to the PTA website

6.    Feedback / debrief on terms 1 & 2:


-    Sign ups have been successful but not wide spread throughout the parent body.

-    New ideas how to spread the message included:

-    include leaflet in the new parents pack.

-    investing in a couple of roll away sign boards that can go up at all events (including a link to the QR code on the website)

-    PTA speaks to parents face to face.


Action: CR to consider opportunities for the PTA to speak to parents about Chip-In face to face.

Action: Lucy to plan next round of future marketing messaging on Chip In.


Summer Fete volunteers:

-    CS highlighted noone had come forward yet. EB provided feedback that the message indicated that volunteers would be completely in charge and the Committee’s ongoing role wasn’t clear enough. Need to clarify in the comms that there is a plan in place for volunteers to pick up.

-    The pros/cons of a Summer fete (close to Clarefest) vs Christmas fair (weather, space issues, combining playground sales, table for secret room, wreath making kits for sale etc) were discussed.

-    Decision taken to let parents know the Summer Fete currently cannot go ahead - but opportunity remains should parents come forward. 

-    AP/others to consider logistics for Christmas Fair and report back at future Committee meeting.


Secret Room:

Secret Room was again much loved and successful but not enough gifts were donated. Committee brainstormed ideas how to resolve for next year. [post meeting note - CS discussed with Secret room team and agreed this year they should request expenditure early on, to buy gifts in anticipation of a shortage of donations].



-    Emma B suggested a Keybox for tank room keys & uniform room keys

-    Sara OM, Emma B and Lucy P to undertake a Tank Room clear out pre Clarefest

-    CS highlighted freezer needs defrosting, potentially not working as it should?


Action - CR to consider feasibility of keybox installation and feedback to Chair

Action - CS to check freezer and report if under warranty


First Aiders:

CS questioned if we needed to train event organisers for first aiders. Decision - no action needed.

7.  Planned Events:

Playground sales: Jennie Fong reflected on Christmas term sales & sought Committee feedback. Donuts are always popular with £1.50 seeming to be a reasonable price point able to sell 200-300 items. NJ suggested Parentkind as a resource for ideas. JF highlighted more volunteers will help reduce queues and support successful sales - suggested utilising Y6 children. JF suggested using charity rate on donuts to resell to local companies. It was decided that a smaller number of high quality/profitable playground sales should be the focus for Spring term (e.g. World book day & second hand book sale).


Easter: LP highlighted costs have increased. The cost of eggs last year was £540 and this year, £650 needs to approved.Vote for Easter expenses was approved by Claire Niloufer, Shagun, Lucy, Emma B, Sara, Natalie

-    Ideas raised for an adult paint & Prosecco night or quiz night.

-    Cat K suggested an Easter craft club for both KS1 and 2 & an exhibition of work. JF offered support and Sara OM volunteered to be the committee point of contact.

Action - CK, JF, S’OM to scope out craft club idea.



-    EB updated that planning is well underway.

-    Bouncy castle company are offering discount if paid before end of January so a vote may be needed.

-    Messaging for 2024 needs to be clearer that attendees cannot bring alcohol in due to license conditions..

-    Commitee supported the principle of hiring professional Security for 2024.

8. Feedback Survey: 

CS outlined that a feedback form for parents had been on the PTA to do list for a while and some draft questions had been circulated with comments sought. Google suite was suggested to use as the survey tool by Vanessa.


Action: CS to finalise feedback survey and circulate to parents.

9.     AOB:      The next meeting date will be 19/03/2024


SIGN:   C Summers

DATE:  30th January 2024


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