Private Schools Given “Stay of Execution”

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has delayed reporting on its current phase of the rolling review of charitable status. OSCR intends to provide more detailed guidance and then announce its decisions on 30 charities in October rather than May, as originally intended, in order &quotto allow further time for the examination of complex issues”.

The current group of 30 charities under review was selected to provide a representative sample of priority charities to be assessed under the charity test specified in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. The group includes a number of independent schools as well as Scotland’s only mainstream grant-aided school, Jordanhill School.

The report on the review in October 2008 will coincide with the publication of OSCR’s fully revised guidance on Meeting the Charity Test.

Evidence that independent schools are part of the reason for the delay includes OSCR’s statement that issues include “levels of fees and other possible restrictions on access”; “the provision of charitable benefit for people that are not members” and “ongoing research into affordability of charges”.

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