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Private Schools Could Share Facilities for Charitable Status

by markevans (writer), , July 06, 2012

Private schools in the United Kingdom could claim charitable status and gain tax breaks if they share their facilities and resources with state students, according to new draft rules formulated by the

Private schools in the United Kingdom could claim charitable status and gain tax breaks if they share their facilities and resources with state students, according to new draft rules formulated by the Charity Commission, BBC reported.

The Charity Commission conducted a three-month consultation to completely review the existing guidelines for achieving charitable status. The consultation coursework was prompted by a court ruling favouring claims by some private schools saying that the existing guidelines were too narrow. The Independent Schools Council (ISC) claimed that the original guidelines set by the Charity Commission was more focused on bursaries and failed to take in account all the charitable work conducted by private schools. Representing 1,200 schools, the ISC levelled up the case to the Upper Tribunal, which ruled that parts of the guidance were "erroneous." The Upper Tribunal then ordered that the Commission correct the guidance on how schools justify their charitable status.

The new draft rules outline the activities that private schools must do to prove benefit to public, as doing so could give them basis to claim charitable status and the resulting tax breaks. These activities include allowing state pupils to use their facilities like swimming pools or halls where they could write their assignments or UK coursework.

Charitable activities likewise include allowing state pupils to attend classes or educational events. Private schools could also second teachers to state schools for and colleges or work with non-fee-charging schools out of the country. The document containing the draft rules also sets out what charities in England and Wales, including private schools, should do in order to show that they are acting in the public benefit, and thus claim charitable status.

The Charity Commission, however, said the new draft rules were not just a response to the judgment, as it was also part of complete review of the guidance. The Commission remarked that the consultation also entail changes in reaction to the 2010 Equality Act and the 2011 Charities Act. With the new guidelines, private schools could now offer a place for state students to conduct their academic activities like doing library research for their UK coursework. State schools that do not have enough professors and teachers could also well benefit from the new draft rules.

According to Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission, they worked hard to draft guidance that accurately reflects the law and at the same time is accessible for a charity trustee. She quipped that public benefit is the defining characteristic of charity but is a far from simple concept.

With the guideline, state students who want to gain access to better facilities for accomplishing their academic projects or UK coursework will now have better place to go.



About the Writer

markevans is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Private Schools Could Share Facilities for Charitable Status

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By Credo on November 21, 2013 at 07:50 am

Extra ordinary concept the idea of charity funding educational facilities. In America it would stand as a state of the art strategy for improving public education.

:)Credo

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