Friends of St Margaret's: Harnessing Parent Power
4th December 2023
St Margaret's parent body has raised over £25K for the School in the past two years alone, we caught up with Heena Amin, who is Chair of FoSM to find out more…
Friends of St Margaret’s (FoSM) is run by a committee made up of parent volunteers from across year groups who work very closely with Head, Lara Pechard, and the School's Senior Management Team. All of its members are volunteers and many of them have day jobs spanning various backgrounds, which is what makes the PTA so successful. Some parents, like Heena, come from corporate backgrounds, while others work in finance, healthcare, education, and many run their own businesses across various industries. FoSM also has a Class Reps network who are the main points of communication between the PTA and the parent community, who support events and help to make them super successful.
Heena said “FoSM brainstorm together regularly to come up with innovative ideas to raise money and we also look to our school community for input, as well as think about what they would enjoy and benefit from the most. We have a very diverse community, and our pupil ages range from 2-18 in a co-ed setting so we need to be creative with ideas."
“It’s great that we have an incredibly hands on and enthusiastic Head who ensures that we are well supported by the school, and this partnership ensures we get the buy in we need with our campaigns and ideas”
As a PTA group, FoSM has achieved lots of ambitious plans over recent years. In late 2020 during the pandemic, the Head tasked the committee with helping some of the School’s Chinese boarders to celebrate Chinese New Year as many of them could not be with their families at that time. FoSM arranged a ‘New Year Fireworks Spectacular’ - and it truly was that! They arranged a professional fireworks display, the boarders, with the help of the Heads of Chinese and languages, ran some themed stalls, the catering team served a Chinese meal; and there was even a Lion Dance performance from Imperial College. The event was a sell-out! Last year they added a stilt walker and for 2024…? “Well, we want to surprise our families, but plans are well underway to bring in the Year of the Dragon,” said Heena. “Having a fireworks event outside of the 'normal season' has proved a hit and is by far the most popular and eagerly awaited event of the FoSM calendar,” she added.
FoSM is a fairly new PTA, but it has raised an impressive £25K in the past two years from in-person events. When distributing the monies raised, the group ensures it awards requests from both staff and pupils to ensure the children are actively involved with FoSM. From new telescopes to a drone, EYFS play equipment and a heavy duty sewing machine, the money raised by FoSM has a direct and positive impact on the pupils and the opportuities the School can offer. They also have events raising money for specific charities such as Macmillan Coffee Morning and had one to mark the Coronation of King Charles III recently where FoSM gifted every child in school a bookmark commemorating the event.
As well as raising money for the school, FoSM has helped to bridge the gap for parents and families looking to connect. With events such as the Macmillan Coffee morning, Cheese and Wine Night, as well as the larger family events such as St Margaret’s very own 'M Festival', it would certainly seem that FoSM's objective is not just to organise events and fundraise, but also to find ways of connecting its diverse community. Without doubt, the commitment to work tirelessly behind the scenes and to be at the heart of the school means parent power simultaneously enhances the community and the learning environment of each pupil.
If you would like to get involved with FoSM, please get in touch with the School directly.
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