Fettes College among 40 Scottish schools facing charity watchdog probe
FORTY of Scotland’s private schools are to be investigated by the country’s charity regulator over whether they provide a public benefit.
Former prime minister Tony Blair’s alma mater, Fettes College in Edinburgh, and the High School of Glasgow are among those on a list published yesterday by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). It said it would review the 40 schools’ charitable status over the next two years.
A total of 13 independent schools have already been investigated by OSCR, with some being told to widen access in return for keeping charitable status, which allows them to remain exempt from tax. None was stripped of their status as a charity.
OSCR chief executive David Robb said: “Charities need to be seen to be providing public benefit – that is what the legislation requires the regulator to ensure. Our reviews of charitable status have been ongoing since 2006 and we have gained considerable experience as Scotland’s charity regulator.
“We believe it’s right, as agreed by our board in January of this year, that we now proceed to complete our assessment of the remaining schools in this priority group.
“We have reviewed 13 schools so far, to reassure the public that the requirements of charitable status are protected.”
John Edward, director of the Scottish Council for Independent Schools, said: “All 13 independent schools that have been reviewed to date have passed the charity test and demonstrated that they provide public benefit and we’re confident that the other schools are well placed to do so too.”
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