14 October 2011
We welcome the Upper Tribunal's decision, and we are pleased that in its judgment the Tribunal agrees with our interpretation of the law on the key issues. The Tribunal's decision has been widely anticipated and is an important clarification of what charitable independent schools must do for the poor.
The judgment confirms the Charity Commission's interpretation of the law in relation to public benefit and independent charitable schools, which has always been that:
We accept of course the Tribunal's conclusion that some parts of our guidance do not explain the law clearly enough. We will amend the relevant parts of our public benefit guidance in the light of the Tribunal's decision, a process we have already begun.
It is a matter for individual charitable independent schools to decide for themselves how to meet the public benefit requirement as long as it gives more than a tokenistic benefit to the poor. The Tribunal has said that there is no clear line which identifies what it is that trustees must do, and acknowledges that it is simply not possible to provide the clarity which we know some schools have wished for. [paras 220-1, 224]
The public benefit requirement has never been difficult or onerous to meet for charitable independent schools. Charitable independent schools have generally seen the public benefit requirement as an opportunity to highlight the benefits they offer.
Further explanation is available on our website.
1. All numbers refer to paragraphs in the Upper Tribunal's decision.
© 2012 Crown Copyright Copyright Notice | Disclaimer and Privacy Statement | Cookies