Return to Parents


Parent Governor Election

Parent Governor Election June 2018

HSA Newsletters

What is the HSA?

The Home & School Association (‘HSA’) is a group of parents and carers which organises various fundraising events to provide money for the school to buy additional items and resources – both big and small – that would otherwise not be covered by the school’s own budget. In addition to fundraising, our objective is to raise the profile of Manland Primary School and help build the school community with events that give families the opportunity to meet socially out of usual school hours.

Why are you called the HSA and not the PTA?

Until it was closed in 1985, children from the Harpenden Branch of the National Children’s Home attended Manland Primary School. ‘Parent’ was replaced by the more inclusive ‘home’ and swapping ‘teacher’ for ‘school’ completed an alternative to PTA.

Shouldn’t the government or local authority cover all the school’s costs?

Public funds have rarely been under so much pressure, but the important thing to note is that fundraising by the HSA is not intended to replace funding from the government and local authority. If Manland didn’t have new netbooks and WIFI, it would still have the ICT suite and if the classrooms didn’t have interactive whiteboards, they would still have whiteboards. The investments are intended to enhance our children’s experience in school and the events organised by the HSA support the strong sense of community at Manland, something that no amount of public funding could do.

How is the HSA organised?

The HSA operates in a fairly informal way, it depends on the goodwill and support of parents and carers, as well as the school, and everybody is welcome to get involved in whatever way they can.

However, we have to take our obligations as a fundraiser seriously. The HSA is a registered charity and even has a constitution. Under the constitution, the HSA has four officers: a chair and vice chair, a treasurer and a secretary. The chair and treasurer are answerable to the Charity Commission. The committee also includes HSA representatives that build relationships with other parents and carers, a communications and membership manager and project leaders that take responsibility for organising events and activities.

How can I get involved?

In our survey of parents and carers in 2012,  respondents said they would like to get more involved. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the HSA and you can do as much or as little as you like. This can range from chairing the committee to manning a stall at the Christmas Bazaar.

There are a number of steps you can take towards volunteering, either on an informal basis or a slightly more formal basis. During the weeks before an event, the HSA representative for your child’s class will be in touch asking for volunteers to help, either at the event or to help with the preparations. You can also come along to the committee meetings, which are held at the British Legion in Harpenden, usually on a monthly basis during term time. These meetings are an opportunity to discuss events that have been held since the previous meeting, to plan further events and come up with fundraising ideas and decide how we are going to spend the money, considering the school’s requests for additional resources. You can find the date of the next meeting on the HSA noticeboard and newsletter.

But don’t worry if volunteering isn’t your thing, or you simply don’t have the time. The most important thing you can do is support the work of the HSA and the fundraising we do by coming along to some of our events.


How do you raise funds?

One of our main fundraising events is the Festival on the Field, held jointly with Sir John Lawes School. It was held on Saturday 2nd July 2016.

The range of fund raising activities is wide and varied. The HSA meets its twin objectives of raising funds and helping to build the school community by organising a number of events. Some, like the Christmas Bazaar, are for the whole family; the school discos are for the children and some events, like the Comedy night, are just for the grown-ups. In 2012, in partnership with Sir John Lawes School, we mounted our most ambitious fund raising event to date. The Festival on the Field attracted 2000 people to Sir John Lawes playing field, who enjoyed tribute acts to Queen, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. The event was so successful, we entered it for a Gold Star Award, which rewards good practice by PTAs. We were the proud winners of the regional final and the national final for Best Fund Raising Achievement, for the Festival on the Field, and raised £1,500 in prize money. In 2014, the Festival on the Field returned, headlined by One Step Behind (Madness) with support from The One Direction Tribute Show, Rihanna and Katy Perry. We were also awarded another prize, which recognises PTAs that are following good practice principles in the management of their PTA. As well as organising events, the HSA supports events organised by the school and raises money by providing refreshments at school productions and the district sports day. The HSA is also behind a number of fund raising activities that are not related to events. These include sponsored activities, like the readathon, the ‘Phil the Bag’ jumble collection and foreign coin collections. There is also a mydonate page, where individuals can raise funds for the school through sponsored events independently of the HSA One of the easiest ways to raise funds is easyfundingraising if you shop online. This is a website which has links to a comprehensive range of online retailers, including many high-street names. If you shop online and access the retailers’ sites by clicking on the links on the easyfundraising website, the school gets a percentage of the purchase price whilst you pay exactly the same price as if you had shopped directly with the same retailer. Registering is free and easy at:


The HSA holds stocks of the school jacket (a reversible waterproof fleece) jute bags in two styles, beanie hat and sunhats. An order form is at the top of the page. Please feel free to suggest future events and ideas for fundraising by contacting your HSA rep.

What about donations?

Corporate donations are welcome, but the HSA does not actively solicit cash donations from individuals. Some employers operate corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes that include donations to worthwhile causes and you may be able to put forward a case for Manland Primary School. Schemes vary by company: some companies will make a simple donation, some will match funds raised from a sponsored event or specific activity and some will consider a gift in kind. If your employer runs a scheme we can help you put forward a case to support an application, explaining why the HSA needs funds and what it does for your school community.

How much have you raised?

Between the 2010 and 2014 school years, the HSA has raised £89,588, that’s an average of over £17,918 per year.

A tremendous effort

Yes, a big thank you to everybody for their support – the generous financial contributions, the many hours of volunteer work that the committee members and other helpers have given, and the support from local businesses through donations or advertising.

What do you spend the money on?

As you would expect, in consultation with the school, a lot of thought goes into deciding how the money should be spent. In 2014, funds raised by you were spent on two teaching walls and this classroom refurbishment programme will continue into 2015. The majority of the money raised in 2012 and 2013 was spent on improving the ICT facilities at the school. Specifically, this was a WIFI connection for the school and a number of netbooks (best for little fingers) that can be transported between classrooms on trolleys. Most classes will no longer need to decamp to the ICT suite and faster, updated equipment, has vastly increases the potential for learning using technology. But it’s not all work. In 2010 and 2011, both the infant playground and the junior playground received funds for new equipment. Money has also been allocated to the school library to replace some of the popular and well read books as well as to buy new, more up-to-date ones. To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the HSA gave each pupil a commemorative coin which to help remind them of all the celebrations that took place. Very occasionally, the HSA will use some of the funds to purchase equipment to support its own activities. In 2012, it invested in a new notice board to keep you up-to-date. In the past, the HSA has purchased bar equipment and a coffee maker to use when providing refreshments, shelving for the HSA store cupboard and a cordless microphone.


Name Position Contact
Esther Hathorn Chair  Contact in the playground
Vacant Vice Chair
Nicole Fairhead Secretary Contact in the playground or by email
Sara Smith Treasurer Contact in the playground, by email or by phone on 07971 782609
Sean Bride Communications Contact by email


Name Class Contact
Tracey Pritchard Stars Contact by email
Nicole Fairhead Mars Contact in the playground or by email
Emily Hindell Saturn Contact In the playground or by email
Louise Barcock Meteors Contact in the playground or by email
Sara-Jayne Talley Pegasus Contact in the playground, by email or phone on 07525 142486
Paula Skilton Taurus Contact by email
Esther Hathorn Mercury Contact in the playground
Michelle Beer Aquila Contact in the playground


14th June – HSA General Meeting
26th June – District Sports
29th June – Mini Summer Fete
6th July – Sports Day
7th July – Festival on the Field
11th July – Years 5 and 6 Production
12th July – Years 5 and 6 Production