Can you tell us who holds ultimate responsibility for an event?

Q:

Our PTA Committee regularly run school discos for the children. Can you tell us who holds ultimate responsibility for the event? Whose responsibility would it be to check which fire exits are required or to ensure that children are safely collected after the disco?

A:

If you hold an event and it is organised by the Parent Council/PTA Committee, then the Committee and others that help are responsible. That is why we advise Parent Councils/PTAs to take out Public Liability Insurance as a Parent Council does not always come under the local authority insurance scheme and a PTA is generally not included.

Connect Membership has varying levels of benefit. 3* and 4* Membership provides a range of benefits suitable for those organising events. However, the school building is the responsibility of the local authority (or the facilities management company in a PPP school). They are responsible for the fabric of the building.

With 3* and 4* Connect Membership, the Parent Council/PTA is covered for any incident that occurs as a result of their decisions/actions/negligence. It also covers any helpers. Of course, it is always a good idea to take sensible precautions such as checking where the fire exits are and that helpers know what to do in case of an emergency. It is also good practice to keep an incident log book which you get signed by two people at the end of an event whether there has been an incident or not. As for problems with children not being collected, we advise Parent Councils/PTAs to make it a condition when they sell tickets that arrangements should be made to pick up children after the event.  For example, you could send a letter via the school to all the parents with a tear-off slip for their contact details in case of emergency and ask them to write down the arrangements for collecting children, ie are they allowed to walk home? Have a look at our leaflets Safety at Fundraising Events and Running a disco for more help.