Leading parent-teacher associations are raising millions of pounds

PTAs with pound signs: Elite parent-teacher associations are raising millions of pounds a year for their schools, research shows 

  • Top 30 PTAs in England raised £3.6million for their schools in a year
  • Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s school in Barnet, north London, raised £894,000
  • Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in Holland Park raised £631,770 in donations 

The UK’s most successful state school parent-teacher associations are raising millions of pounds a year, research shows.

The top 30 PTAs in England raised £3.6million for their schools in a year, with half in London and a further nine elsewhere in the South East.

The Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s school in Barnet, north London, was the best performing PTA, raising £894,000, the researchers from The Observer found. Almost £700,000 was from donations and legacies rather than fundraising.

Queen Elizabeth’s, founded in 1573, is a grammar school where 97 per cent of children achieve A*-B grades at A-level. Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, a Catholic boys’ comprehensive in Holland Park, west London, raised £631,770 in donations from parents and other benefactors.

Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School (pictured), a Catholic boys’ comprehensive in Holland Park, west London, raised £631,770 in donations from parents and other benefactors 

Headmaster Paul Stubbings said fundraising was vital to counter ‘cuts, rising staff costs, including unfunded pay awards and rising pension contributions’. Massive single donations have also been made to transform school finances, research showed. Tonbridge Grammar school in Kent received £1.1million as the beneficiary of a will.

Researchers also analysed the 30 mainstream state schools with the highest proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals. Just nine said they had an active PTA and more than two-thirds do not even attempt to raise funds through events involving local families.

Labour’s education spokesman Angela Rayner said: ‘Once again, it is the most disadvantaged children who are paying the highest price for austerity, with soaring class sizes, fewer staff and teachers, and less dedicated support for the pupils who need it the most’

The PTAs that provided information in this batch of schools averaged just £1,700 a year compared to the £120,000 average of the top 30 schools.

The Department for Education claims there is ‘more money than ever before’ going into schools.

Labour’s education spokesman Angela Rayner said: ‘Once again, it is the most disadvantaged children who are paying the highest price for austerity, with soaring class sizes, fewer staff and teachers, and less dedicated support for the pupils who need it the most.’

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