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Garden Suburb Infant School

PTA Review of 2022 - 23

The Chair of the Infant School PTA, Caroline Zabeti, reported on PTA events and fundraising during the 2022-23 school year, at the PTA AGM on the 2nd February 2024.

Caroline was helped enormously by Vice-Chair, Shiri Yardeni, and by our Treasurer, Laura Ramazzina.

This financial year we raised just under £14,000 of Net Income (profit), in a great year of events producing wonderful memories for the children and valuable funds for the PTA to deploy towards new resources for the school.

In summary, this year we have invested an amazing £23,500 in learning experiences and equipment in the Infant School.  In particular, £2,500 towards workshops and trips for the children, £15,500 on new computing equipment and another £5,000 for the fantastic sports coaches. 

Here are the events of last year, with some information about each and what we raised:



Seasonal Cards fundraiser * £937.33 

We opened the year with our Seasonal cards fundraiser (organised by Caroline and Hannah). This is the fundraiser where the children do their personal seasonal art in school, which parents can then order printed onto cards and mugs etc.  This went well and raised £937.33, which is more or less what we’ve raised previously.

seasonal fair * £3,505.20 

In December, we had a wonderful and festive Seasonal Fair (lead by Shiri), together with, a few days later, a couple of flash sales in the playground of the seasonal goods left over from the Fair.  Children and parents alike seemed to really enjoy buying the lovely gifts and the homemade biscuits lovingly made by a team of baking parents! Thank you to all those bakers who gave their time to produce the 750 or so biscuits required to make sure every child got the chance to buy a bag! Altogether, the fair and sales raised £3,505.20You can see some pictures here!

disco * £668.82 

Our Year 1&2 Disco Event (organised by Daniel, Caroline and many helpers!) was held in March. This was an absolutely brilliant event which the children truly loved. It raised £668.82, almost exactly the same as the previous year.  We cannot emphasise enough how much the children love this event!  Although not the most profitable event of the calendar, it is one of the most popular with the children.  The school hall is really transformed into disco heaven, with balloon arches, glitter balls, a DJ and foam spray for the last track! You can read all about it here!

treasure hunt * £990.26

Next up was the Treasure Hunt, held in May, which is a lovely family event, held on a Sunday, where children with their parents and siblings follow the trail around the suburb, finishing at the school to collect their prize. This was organised by Susanna and Naomi. We also held a cake, savoury snacks and hot and cold drinks sale at the school for much needed refreshments after the hunt - and for the first time (and luckily the weather was really with us) a bouncy castle! It was a lovely, sunny, family fun day. This raised £990.26.  This is slightly lower than the £1,200 raised in 2021, largely due to the cost of the bouncy castle.

summer camp * £1,821.19 

In June, we enjoyed the fantastic 2-day event that is the Summer Camp. This was organised by Caroline, Shiri and Daniel. This event is a wonderful family event starting on Saturday afternoon and finishing after breakfast on the Sunday morning, and everyone enjoyed music, games, pizza and lots of other food, drinks, ice cream, a bonfire with toasted marshmallows and a tombola! This made £1,821.19.  This was significantly less than the £3,000 raised in the previous financial year, almost exclusively because we drastically reduced the price of the camping tickets this year in the light of the tough financial times families are facing.  That of course reflects in the profits, but seemed appreciated by our parent community.  We also opened up day-visit only tickets for the first time this year, which were also popular.  You can see some pictures from one of our annual camps here!

international food fair * £3,351.75 

Lastly, in July we had the International Food Fair.  This lovey event is held in the Infant playground and is a real celebration of our multicultural community as a dozen or so different communities cook up their national dishes for everyone to sample and enjoy.  This was organised by Shiri and Caroline and raised £3,351.75, only a little bit shy of the profits in 2022, which is frankly a minor miracle given the school’s usual luck with the weather for this event dramatically ran out! It was, I think, the wettest day of the entire summer! But to the immense credit of the parents, children and school, everyone channelled their inner festival-goer, donned their wellingtons and grabbed an umbrella and got involved.  Our amazingly diverse community cooked up a storm with food from Ukraine, Hungary, Japan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, China, Asia (including India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), Iran, Israel, all over Europe and the UK.  So thank you everyone. You can see some pictures of an earlier, and sunnier, fair here!

other fund-raisers 

Natalie held several 2nd hand uniform sales throughout the year. We split the revenue with the Juniors, and that made the Infant PTA £326.17.
Other income:
  • Income from our Uniform Sale Provider, Uniform4Kids, was £555.61 (which is 50% of the total raised, the other 50% being for the Juniors).
  • Lottery income was down last year, raising £509.96 for our school.
  • Amazon Smile raised £199.74. This is less than in previous years owing to Amazon in fact ceasing their scheme to donate to charities from customer purchases in February 2023.  Although we have had some final money come in, we are not now expecting any more.
  • Stikins (named labels) raised £68.78
  • 2nd hand book sales raised £22.14
  • We also had generous donations from Waitrose and from parents (separate from any events) to the tune of £1,036.00.

Bank balances: 

We started 2022/23 with £30,481.47 in the bank and finished with £20,701.32. We raised £21,722.03 (net income) and spent £31,502.18.

What have PTA funds been spent on this year?

sports coaching * £5,257.00

Sports coaching (provided by Adamos and Jan, and colleagues from "Fun in Sport" who many of you know) has been a terrific addition to the sports provision at the school and one the PTA has been delighted to fund, both in the 2021/2022 year and this financial year (2022/2023).

The coaching falls into 2 categories, being the “school time” coaching sessions (i.e. PE time) and the additional “lunchtime sessions”, where the coaches are also available in the playground during the lunchtime playtime, concentrating on difference year groups in weekly rotation.

Of the £5,257.00, £2,827 was from the summer term of 2022, when the PTA paid for the school time and lunchtime coaching sessions.  The remainder (£2,430.00) relates to the period September 2022 - March 2023, when the PTA paid for the lunchtime coaching sessions only. From April 2023, the cost of all the coaching sessions has in fact moved to school funding (sports funding) so the PTA is not currently expecting to contribute to that particular cost in the coming year. It was a pleasure to fund it in previous years, however – a great addition for the children.

learning resources * £247.96 

This was for additional books for the new reading scheme, which the PTA purchased last year.

parentmail sms * £200.00 

This is the cost of text messages sent by the PTA as reminders of events and deadlines etc relating to PTA events.

computing equipment * £15,452.48

The school has invested significantly in new IT equipment this financial year.

Of the £15,452.48:

£2070.00 was used to purchase a new interactive whiteboard for Purple Class.  This is part of a rolling programme to replace the white boards as they break down.

The remaining £13,382 was used to purchase 30 new laptops for the children together with trolleys to store them in.  These have been in use since September 2023 and have significantly enhanced the school’s IT provision.  In particular, they enable the children to practice important keyboard and mouse skills.  Children are talented at touch screen technology(!), but it’s important also to enable them to master the key skills of dealing with a keyboard and mouse.

workshops / trips * £2,439.44 

The school arranges some terrific workshops (in school, but by external providers) and trips (out of school) to enhance the children’s learning and experiences of particular topics.  The PTA has traditionally funded some of these, particularly workshops, out of its Gift Aid account (which you can see below). Sometimes though, funding over and above the Gift Aid donations is needed.

Of this expenditure, £1,500 was used to fund the ceramics workshop held for the jubilee celebrations in May 2022.

The remaining £939.44 was used to “top up” the funds needed for other workshops and out-of-school trips, which the school didn’t have enough from parental donations to proceed with.  It is usual for the school to ask for parental donations for workshops and external trips. This financial year, however, on a number of occasions the money received was not sufficient to cover the costs of the workshops/trips and, absent the PTA funding, those events would have had to be cancelled.  The PTA was therefore pleased to be able to provide the “top up” to ensure that the children did not miss out.  The money went towards supplementing the costs of (1) the Spirit of the Wild workshop; (2) the Toy Workshop; (3) the trip to the RAF Museum; and (4) the trip to Kew Gardens.

Gift Aid

The PTA also receives Gift Aid on some of its donations, and the Gift Aid accounts are summarised below, including what we have received and what we have spent that Gift Aid money on this year.

We started the year with £4,464.46 in the gift Aid account.  We received income in the year of £3,366.44 and spent £3,077.04, finishing the year with £4,753.86.

gift aid income 

The Income was received from the following:

  • Oneoff donations: £350.00
  • Donations through regular giving: £148.00
  • Bucket collections on the door for various charitable days: £1,144.72
  • Tax reclaim: £343.31
  • Junior Gift Aid: £1,380.41 (this is a reimbursement to the Juniors as the money comes in from the government to one elected bank account (which is the Infant Bank Account) and we reimburse the Junior Gift Aid Account.

gift aid expenditure 

In terms of expenditure, we have traditionally used Gift Aid money to pay for or supplement the funding for workshops and extra-curricular activities for the children to support their learning, as mentioned.  This year was no different.  The money paid for or supplemented the charges for numerous fantastic activities, in particular:


  • Diwali Dance Workshop: £400.00
  • Drumming Workshop: £200.00
  • Tennis Sessions at Mercury Tennis Club: £810.00
  • Kings & Queens Day 2022: £90.10
  • Dragon Day: £23.50

Between the regular PTA fundraising and Gift Aid contributions the school has been able to benefit from some superb extra experiences and facilities for the children.

The role of the PTA is such an important one, particularly in these really tough financial times when the school’s finances are under staggering pressure.  The flip-side of that coin, of course, is that families’ finances are also more pressured than ever before and the PTA has been increasingly conscious of that when thinking about its fundraising events and the cost of those events to parents.

In the year to come, considering those costs carefully and whether there are other fundraising opportunities that aren’t dependent on our families’ contributions, such as with local businesses or other commercial opportunities, will likely be necessary and important.

So we want to thank all the parents who have been involved in giving their time and effort to organising the events of the last year, and also to every parent that has contributed by supporting the events.  It adds real value to the resources and experience our children have in school.  So a big thank you to everyone, and we’re really looking forward to more lovely events in the year to come!