Covid-19: Schools face £42m donations 'black hole'

Parentkind says PTAs have seen their income drop by more than a third during 2020 because of the pandemic
3rd November 2020, 5:14pm

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Covid-19: Schools face £42m donations 'black hole'

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/covid-19-schools-face-ps42m-donations-black-hole
Coronavirus: Parentkind Has Warned That Schools Face A £42m 'black Hole' As A Result Of A Drop In Parent-teacher Association Fundraising

Schools face a donations "black hole" of up to £42 million this year because parent-teacher associations are struggling to fundraise during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been revealed.

Parentkind, the country's largest membership organisation for PTAs, said its analysis shows that associations have seen income drop by more than third during 2020, because of the coronavirus.

It said this equates to a black hole of between £36 million and £42 million in lost funds that would have gone directly to schools.


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During 2019, PTAs raised a collective £121 million for schools, according to Parentkind.

However, it said associations have been struggling this year because traditional fundraising events have been cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Coronavirus: Parent-teacher associations raise less money

Parentkind, which is a membership organisation for PTAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, estimates that PTA income is down by 35 per cent this year.   

Chief executive John Jolly said: "Our PTA members rightly take great pride in everything they achieve for their schools, and the educational opportunities they pay for that enrich the school experiences of so many children.

"Our army of parent volunteers raised £121 million for schools nationwide last year. In 2020, with the pandemic, it's been a different story.

"We're seeing schools stretching their budgets even more to ensure they meet Covid-19 safety guidelines. At the same time, our analysis predicts a black hole of between £36 million and £42 million in lost funds from PTAs going directly to schools, as traditional fundraisers have been cancelled."

The latest figures on the impact of Covid-19 on fundraising for schools come on top of existing financial pressures caused by the pandemic.

The NAHT school leaders' union has warned that in the first few weeks of term schools in England had spent an average of £8,017 extra to minimise the risks of Covid-19, with the additional costs including enhanced cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand-washing stations.

This was based on a survey by the union of more than 2,000 school leaders in England, which also showed that schools had already lost an average of £9,755 in income this term alone as restrictions have led to a drop in demand for renting out school facilities.

The NAHT has called for schools to be reimbursed for this spending.

At a webinar organised by the NAHT, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee Meg Hillier urged schools to monitor their Covid costs because failing to watch "every penny" may mean they never see the money again.

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