The Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph have reported that the Charity Commission has announced it will no longer assess the public benefit of Independent Schools. Following the judgment in the case of The Independent Schools Council -v- The Charity Commission and others, the Charity Commission was expected to issue revised guidance on public benefit. However it appears that they have now accepted defeat in their six year battle with Independent Schools over charitable status.
The Commission has said that instead of assessing Independent Schools to establish whether they have the requisite public benefit, schools will simply be able to determine for themselves whether they are operating for the public benefit. The Charity Commission will then only act against the school in the event that they receive a complaint and evidence that they are abusing charitable status. While this move does not give free reign to Independent Schools to deviate from the principles of charitable status or public benefit, it suggests that they will now have a greater degree of flexibility.