The very latest...
"MOST PRIVATE SCHOOLS ARE NOT CHARITIES"...
...' was the conclusion of the Education Review Group ('ERG')
following the decision of the High Court today (14 October).
The High Court reached its decision after lengthy deliberation
and its conclusions means that many schools will need to look
again at their approach in light of today's judgment ... (continued;
read our full press release here)
... and for a copy of the judgment see here.
For the judgment and other links on the England and Wales
Judiciary web site see here.
The High Court/Tribunal documents can be found here
The Education Review Group (ERG) was given permission in
January 2011 to intervene in the Judicial Review bought by
the Independent Schools Council (ISC) against the Charity
Commission. On 7th March 2011, the ERG submitted its evidence
to the Court, which you can read here.
For the Statement of Grounds of the ISC and the Defence
of the Charity Commission please follow the link to the Charity
Tribunal website here.
What does "public benefit" mean in the education
In July 2007 the Charity Commission conducted a public consultation
exercise on the guidance it should offer on what constitutes
"Public Benefit", and this has huge implications
for all charities and schools with charitable status. The
Education Review Group was set up to provide independent evidence
to the Charity Commission on the meaning of public benefit
in the education sector.
In March 2008 the Charity Commission launched a Consultation
on Draft Supplementary guidance on Public Benefit and Fee
Charging. This Consultation applies to all charities that
charge fees including educational, health, heritage, arts
and culture charities. The Education Review Group has, however,
confined its submission to the public benefit of educational
charities - and in particular, private schools.
July 2009: The Charity Commission has recently published
guidance on the interpretation of public benefit and gives
five examples of how they apply
this in practice to independent schools, and other charities.
These reports have generated immediate controversy as two
of the schools have failed at least part of the public benefit
test and the Charity Commission has been criticised over how
it applies its own rules.
We have recently published a briefing paper on Assessing
the impact of the 2006 Charities Act on schools
Add your support to our campaign by signing here.
You can download our submission to the Charity Commission
in response to its consultation exercise lodged on 11th July
2008 from here.
The letter to The Guardian on 11th July 2008 outlining our
position can be seen here.
For further development of our work please watch this website.
Background to the Charity Commission review of "Public
The Charities 2006 Act removes the presumption of public
benefit which case law had applied to charities established
for the relief of poverty, the advancement of religion and
the advancement of education. From 2008 charities with those
purposes must be able to demonstrate that they provide public
There is no definition of public benefit in the 2006 Act.
However, it does require the Charity Commission to issue guidance
on the public benefit requirement and the trustees of charities
to have regard to that guidance.
The Charity Commission web site has links to all the relevant