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Private schools are ditching charity status


Census shows new private schools aren't setting up as charities

Independent schools are abandoning charity status, according to a report.

The Independent Schools Council’s (ISC) annual census shows that only 75% of schools have charitable status, with figures steadily decreasing for a decade.

There is a trend for new schools to not establish themselves as charities.

However lawyers working in the sector say they have increasingly been asked by schools to sell their assets to overseas companies, and use the proceeds to establish charitable trusts to support education.

The ISC said that 32 of new schools which joined its membership were non-charity schools.

“In addition, nine existing schools changed their legal status from charitable to non-charitable this year,” the ISC said.

“No schools converted the other way.”

Independent schools have faced a steady increase of pressure on their charitable status over the past few years, and there have been warnings that this would push them out of the sector.

ISC chairman, Barnaby Lenon, said: “In recent years independent schools have raised money to subsidise the fees of lower income families, widening access. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are on bursaries at ISC schools, often go on to secure further financial help in order to attend top UK universities.

“This Census tells us that a third of pupils at our schools benefit from reduced fees. Independent schools are committed to educating the broadest spectrum across society.”



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