Northants private school under commission investigation

The Charity Commission is investigating an independent school in Northampton after receiving complaints about its governance.

The commission confirmed on Friday that it had opened a formal inquiry into St Peter's Independent School on 3 September.

It follows an investigation into the school by police and Northamptonshire County Council in which the school's head teacher, Gerald Smith, was voluntarily interviewed.

A commission statement said the governance concerns "related to allegations made that raised the possibility that vulnerable beneficiaries may be exposed to a risk of harm, and this in turn also raised a risk of damage to the charity's reputation".

The commission made an order on 8 September for the school to provide it with information and had directed it to "take certain steps" to address the concerns and protect both its reputation and the wellbeing of the pupils, the statement added.

"This step has been taken in line with the Charity Commission's published approach to issues relating to child protection, although it should be stated that the issues in this instance do not relate to incidents of a sexual nature," it said.

The commission said it would not make any further comments until it publishes its final inquiry report. No one at the school was available for comment.

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