Yes, yes, I know, educating children without charging the State for doing so: that should be enough to ensure charitable status for a school. However, of course, our Lords and Masters don\’t think that way, this we know.
So schools are now being brow beaten, through the threat of losing their charitable status (and no, they can\’t just give it up, they would have to liquidate to do so), into offering more bursaries. However, that\’s not the scary bit:
A spokesman for the Charity Commission said: \”It is not correct to state that the Charity Commission\’s initial public benefit assessments focused only on the provision of means-tested bursaries. We have been very clear throughout this process and in the reports published today that, although fee reductions are an obvious way of making the services of a fee-charging charity more widely accessible, this is not the only means of achieving this.
\”When conducting these assessments, all the activity that the charities engage in which is related to their aims and meets the principles of public benefit was taken into consideration; this includes partnerships with local communities and state schools. We have not taken, and will not take, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to public benefit. Every charitable independent school is different and there is no benchmark for the minimum or maximum amount for bursaries. Equally, there is no formula for calculating the number of bursaries any one school should provide.\”
Those last three sentences.
\”We won\’t tell you what you need to do to keep charitable status. We\’ll just sit here smug in our offices and keep prodding you, without revealing the rules. We\’re the bureaucrats and you\’ll dance to our tune, even when we won\’t tell you what the beat is or what key it is in.\”
Nothing like having the rule of law, is there? And this is nothing like having the rule of law.