Charity Commission
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Regulator opens statutory inquiry into Birmingham-based education charity, after continued non-compliance with governance requirements

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Birmingham Education Trust (1064365), over concerns about the management of the charity by its trustees.

The charity funds and operates a school in Birmingham, which includes the promotion of the teaching of Islam to Muslim girls.

The Commission opened a compliance case into the charity in March 2019, to examine its repeated failure to comply with its statutory duty to file its accounts and annual returns. The case then identified wider concerns, including that the charity was operating in breach of its governing document in having only two trustees who were husband and wife. This also raised concerns about potential unmanaged conflicts of interest.

The Commission issued the trustees with an action plan to address and rectify the concerns, but the trustees have failed to demonstrate progress. The case has therefore been escalated to a statutory inquiry, which opened on 21 July 2020. The new inquiry will further examine the concerns identified at the charity, including whether:

  • the charity has been operating for exclusively charitable purposes for the public benefit in furtherance of their charitable objects
  • the financial controls of the charity are adequate, and their funds have been properly expended and can be accounted for
  • the trustees of the charity have complied with their legal duties in respect of their administration, governance and management of the charity
  • the trustees’ compliance with legal obligations for the content, preparation and submission of the charity’s accounts and other information or returns is in line with the statutory requirements
  • potential conflicts of interest and connected party transactions have been properly managed
  • the trustees have complied with previously issued regulatory guidance.

The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries are available on GOV.UK.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
  2. The Commission does not have a role in the regulation of education provision. Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate are the responsible bodies for ensuring schools meet educational standards. Our role, as charity regulator, is to ensure that trustees of charities are complying with charity law requirements.

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Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regulator-opens-statutory-inquiry-into-birmingham-based-education-charity-after-continued-non-compliance-with-governance-requirements

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