Independent schools ‘question benefit of charitable status’

The TES is reporting that strict requirements for charities is leading some schools to question the ‘relatively meagre benefits’ of the status, according to the chair of the Independent Schools Council.

The newspaper is reporting that parts of the independent sector are having a rethink about the status – which they have fought hard to protect in the past – with growing numbers of fee-paying schools starting to ask whether being a charity is more trouble than it is worth.

“Many schools think to themselves from time to time that the relatively meagre benefits of charitable status hardly seem worth having, given the amount of pressure they come under and the additional requirements that are made on them,” Barnaby Lenon, chair of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) – which represents 1,267 schools, of which around 1,000 are charities – told TES.

“Having said that, I’m not aware of any schools that have actually taken a decision to abandon charitable status because they just don’t think it’s worth having,” the former head master of Harrow School added.

“There are a number of reasons for that. One is that it’s not straightforward legally…If it were made easier to abandon charitable status, then more schools would.”

More at: Exclusive: Charitable status ‘more trouble than it’s worth’ say independent schools

Is having charity status more trouble than it’s worth? Are the requirements of being a charity too stringent? We’d be interested in hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments or via Twitter ~ Jon

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