The Charity Commission suspends independent school charity trustees
The bank accounts of two independent school charities have been frozen by The Charity Commission, a charity regulator for England and Wales.
The charities have been examined by the regulator after initial investigation found evidence that trustees mismanaged potential conflicts of interest and connected party transactions, together with unauthorised trustee benefits.
While the investigation continues and due to the seriousness of its regulatory concerns, the Commission has appointed interim managers, Geoff Carton-Kelly and Tom McLennan of FRP Advisory, on the 13th August 2018 to replace the trustees.
The manager appointments are temporary and will be reviewed on a regular basis in line with normal procedures. Mr Carton-Kelly and Mr McLennan are appointed with all the powers and duties of the trustees and will act to the exclusion of the current charity trustees.
The charities provide monies to enable students to attend independent primary and secondary schools; provide advertising, facilities and equipment for the schools, and assist the local community, however, The Martin Foundation is not currently carrying out any activity.
After receiving a complaint from the public and information from other regulators the Commission contacted the charities in respect of a number of regulatory concerns.
The inquiry is examining:
· The extent to which potential conflicts of interest and connected party transactions have been properly managed
· The extent to which there has been any unauthorised trustee benefit
· Whether the charities operated for exclusively charitable purposes
To protect the assets of the charities, the Commission has issued orders to the trustees and the charities’ bank under section 76(3) of the Charities Act 2011. These are temporary orders and will be reviewed on a regular basis in line with normal procedures.
After the Commission has concluded its investigations, it is policy to publish a detailed report regarding the issues the inquiry looked at, any actions that were taken and what the outcomes were.