Private school takes part in public benefit trial

A fee-paying independent school is one of eight Scottish organisations that have volunteered to participate in a pilot scheme to assess charities against the new public benefit test. The scheme is the first part of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator's programme to review all charities north of the border.

The High School of Dundee’s participation could set a precedent for future assessments, particularly in relation to the placing of conditions, such as fees, on the benefits charities provide.

The regulator has given charitable status to 200 new organisations since the public benefit rules were introduced in April. But the participants in the pilot programme will be the first charities already on the register to face the test, which was introduced by the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. Marieke Dwarshuis, head of charities at the OSCR, praised the volunteer charities for their participation. “Such cooperation will greatly assist us in refining our procedures and establishing a generally straightforward process for those being assessed under the rolling review from next year,” she said.

Other organisations taking part include a community college and two miners’ welfare societies. Results of the project will be available in March at www.oscr.org.uk.

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