Schools could become grant-makers under a radical new plan being considered by ministers.
In an effort to encourage giving among the young, schools could be asked to raise funds for local charities, with the incentive of matched funding from government or the voluntary sector.
The idea emerged from a meeting between the Charities Aid Foundation's new Giving Forum and charities minister Paul Goggins at Downing Street last week. The forum will report back to ministers at its next scheduled meeting in October. It is understood that the Department for Education and Skills and the Home Office would be involved in the scheme if it wins approval. A pilot group of schools would receive grant support.
The Giving Forum was set up in June to explore new ways of driving up charitable giving in the UK. It is chaired by Joseph Rowntree Foundation chief executive Lord Richard Best, but also counts as members the Prime Minister's adviser on charities and senior officials from the Treasury and the Active Communities Directorate.