Proposed charity watchdog chief defends public schools as providing “considerable public benefit”

Independent schools should not feel under threat over their charitable status, the man set to take over the charity watchdog signalled yesterday. William Shawcross, the biographer and journalist, defended the work of public schools such as Eton, where he was educated, insisting they provided “considerable public benefit”. This is from the Telegraph…

During questioning from MPs, he brushed aside calls for private schools to be stripped of their special status – which brings millions of pounds of tax breaks – insisting that education should in itself be considered a “charitable purpose” as much as the relief of poverty or the promotion of religion.

He also signalled that so-called “chuggers” could face new regulations and insisted that charity law should not be used unfairly against churches.

Mr Shawcross, who has been named as the preferred candidate as chairman of the Charity Commission, was being questioned about his plans for the £50,000-a-year post during a hearing before the Commons Public Administration Select Committee.

Under the leadership of Commission’s previous chair Dame Suzi Leather, private schools fought a sustained campaign to retain their charitable status.

More at: Proposed charity watchdog chief defends public schools

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