Friends of the Academy - PTFA

We are fortunate at our school to have a group of ‘Friends’ that is and has been an integral part of the school community for a number of years. In its time the ‘Friends of the Academy’ has raised hundreds of pounds, which has been spent on supporting our children’s education experience and the school’s facilities.

‘Friends of the Academy’ is about much more than simply fundraising. The ‘Friends of the Academy’ exists to provide closer links between home and school and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. It is fun too - just ask any of the Committee members or ‘Friends of the Academy’ helpers. Obviously, as in any organisation, we have experienced some challenges but with the continued support of parents and staff, our ‘Friends of the Academy’ has always succeeded in its efforts.

All parents and members of the school community are encouraged to get involved, even if they only have a small amount of time available. All families are automatically members of the ‘Friends of Lostock Hall Academy’ when their child joins our school.

The ‘Friends of the Academy’ is extremely conscious of the ethos and diversity of our school, and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this. Not all of our events are run as fundraisers. Our recent 50th Anniversary Celebrations invited past students to a free evening of celebration including a meal and entertainment. We also contributed to a free Family Fun Day as a way of thanking families for their continued support for the ‘Friends of the Academy’.

Links with local businesses

We have, over time, developed strong links with the local community and are always well supported by both residents and businesses, for which we are very grateful. Many of our local shops are very generous providing donations for raffle prizes, auction items etc. and some have taken part in our Christmas and summer fairs.

Role of the Committee

Our ‘Friends of the Academy’ committee consists of three Officers: Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We also have a further 8 ordinary committee members to make up the full committee.

The Committee meet on a regular basis, usually once or twice per term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary when we are planning larger events.

Support from PTA-UK

‘Friends of the Academy’ is a member of PTA-UK, which is a national charity and membership organisation providing support and guidance for all home school associations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our association is one of over 13,600 members in current membership of the PTA-UK. We pay an annual membership fee which gives us lots of member benefits including comprehensive insurance cover for all ‘Friends of the Academy’ run events, support and advice plus fundraising ideas and good practice hints and tips. PTA-UK also provides us with the opportunity to meet and communicate with other PTAs to discuss and share experiences. We receive termly publications and we receive guidance to ensure our events are legal and safe. In addition, we have a valuable resource at our fingertips –

How we raise money

Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run.
We always try and respond to the children’s requests; it is great to see them having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that ‘Friends of the Academy’ has donated.
We raise money in other ways too. Donations from parents are extremely important. You can donate time, money, items for sale, raffle prizes and auction lots or offers of services and skills.

How we spend the money we raise

Following a fundraising event the money is banked straight away. It is at our Committee meetings, that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed.

Usually, our Principal (Mrs Gorman) will have a ‘wish list’ of items that the school would like the ‘Friends of the Academy’ to consider funding.

Sometimes this will be as a result of the children asking for something, or a contribution towards a larger project. One of our main objectives at the moment is to provide Sun Shade Sails over the area immediately outside of the main hall (example seen below), to provide both an Outdoor Working & Lunchtime area for students.

Our funds are spent on the ‘extras’ that are not provided by the school’s budget, thus making our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting.

Charitable Status (Registered Charity Number 1173632) as of June 2017.

Charity law requires voluntary organisations such as ours to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. As a charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a governing document referred to as our constitution. Our constitution sets out the rules about how we operate as ‘Friends of Lostock Hall Academy’ and how we conduct ourselves. If you would like to see a copy of the constitution, please email ‘’ .

Being a registered charity enables us to:-
• receive charitable donations from local and national companies
• apply to grant-making charitable trusts; most charitable trusts will give grants only to groups formally recognised as charities
• receive donations made through payroll giving and company matched giving schemes
• apply for Gift Aid

How you can get involved

There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the ‘Friends of the Academy’.

Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you cannot come into school. There are always jobs that can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare e.g. wrapping gifts, preparing raffle tickets etc. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the behind the scenes help that we receive.

If you would like to be more involved you can volunteer to be a Supporter or Committee Member. Or you can simply give us your ideas for fundraising events.

You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use, everything is potentially valuable to us. We are always looking for Ex-Students or members of our community to come into school to talk to current Students about things such as ‘Life at College/University’, or to talk about their career path etc.

If you wish to volunteer, or have any questions regarding ‘Friends of Lostock Hall Academy’, please email or telephone the main school switchboard and they will pass on your message to me.

Ian Crook

Chairman – Friends of Lostock Hall Academy