Strong parental involvement in school life and a vibrant PTA are undoubtedly signs of a healthy school. The Dixie’s Parent Teacher Association is responsible for organising many fantastic events that have become real fixed favourites in the Dixie calendar. From the Spring Bounce, Christmas fairs, spooky discos to summer balls they help provide memorable events for pupils and parents alike.
Crucially, these events also provide opportunities for parents to get together, strengthening the Dixie community and ensuring that those new to school quickly feel part of the ‘Dixie Difference’. They provide opportunities for great fun as well as giving those most senior in the school an invaluable experience of a black tie event in the PTA and Sixth Form Ball. These PTA organised events do often raise funds and it is entirely appropriate that these are used to realise priorities already identified in the ambitious and far reaching school development plan.
It is, in my opinion, the opportunity for social engineering that these events provide which is the most important function of the PTA – it is only through exploiting parent power that we are able to offer some of the fantastic wider opportunities to students which have become so central to Dixie school life. In the past year, among other involvements, parents and friends of the Dixie have assisted with clubs and societies, supported the orchestras and choirs, assisted with Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, run first-aid courses, delivered mental health seminars, run medical workshops, assisted with photography, helped plant 1500 trees and assisted in the delivery of our ambitious outdoors programme. PTA events encourage parents, teachers and students to meet and from these occasions such opportunities for involvement are made clear and exploited.
Some schools are reticent in allowing external involvement, cautious of allowing parents ‘behind the scenes’ for fear of criticism; the Dixie is an open community in which the talents of all, including parents are utilised to maximise the educational experience for students. I am proud to be the Headmaster of a school with such a vibrant PTA.