Parents' group due for reform

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A RESCUE package has been drawn up to reform Britain's largest and richest parents' group after a damning Charity Commission report.

Members of the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, which represents parents of children at 11,000 schools, will vote later this year on a set of measures to give the troubled body a new constitution.

Richard Hill of accountants KPMG, who was appointed the charity's interim manager in February, said: "The message I'm hearing is that the NCPTA must continue."

The confederation was heavily criticised by Charity Commissioners last year after an investigation into allegations of mismanagement.

Commissioners had told the charity to carry out a complete strategic review, improve its links with members and review its financial controls after finding the organisation had no overall strategy or direction, was obsessed with secrecy and had been side-tracked by internal disputes.

Reforms drawn up by Mr Hill involves holding elections for 10 new trustees, each appointed for a fixed term.

Three or four more trustees would be appointed by the Charity Commission to bring expert professionals on to the board.

Ten new regional offices would also be created, each with a full-time official, to improve communications between national and local level.

Details of the new constitution will be put to PTA representatives later this month. Mr Hill said a formal vote on the changes would be taken at the group's annual general meeting in October.

The NCPTA is wealthy, with an annual income of around pounds 750,000 from PTAs, which have subscribed largely for the insurance cover it offers for events like school fetes.

Margaret Morrissey, NCPTA press officer, said: "We were still very much a little PTA group which had become a national body, but we did not have the mechanisms to manage it. This will put us on a more businesslike footing."