Public benefit sample report published

Document is not a minimum standard for demonstrating public benefit at private schools, Charity Commission warns

Private schools with charitable status have been warned not to use an example of a trustees' annual report produced by the Charity Commission as a minimum standard for demonstrating public benefit.

The sample report, on a fictional school called Lintott School, a draft of which is to be discussed at the commission's board meeting in Swansea today, is the third of the regulator's examples of how different types of charities should report on their public benefit - as they will be required to do from March.

The sample report says Lintott offered means-tested bursaries worth nearly £850,000 in the previous year, representing 5.2 per cent of its income. The bursaries were awarded to 185 of the school's 1,270 pupils, with 33 being given full exemption from its fees of £4,400 per term for its senior school and up to £3,900 for its junior school.

The report also cites numerous "teaching links" with local state schools, such as shared lessons, accounting for 6 per cent of its annual spending. Other examples of public benefit cited include environmental initiatives, community access and charity fundraising.

The commission warns schools not to treat the example as a "template or minimum standard". The commission's board paper says: "It is important to understand that the primary purpose of this example is to demonstrate how to report on public benefit."

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