The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened an investigation into St Paul’s School, a charitable independent school in London (registered charity number 1119619).
The regulator’s statutory inquiry will investigate the charity trustees’ approach to safeguarding and handling of allegations of a sexual nature.
The investigation follows the police’s arrest of four individuals with links to the school in connection with allegations of sexual abuse and the Commission’s engagement with the trustees since May 2014.
The inquiry will examine:
the charity’s handling of safeguarding matters, including the creation, development, substance and implementation of its safeguarding policy
how the charity dealt with the risks to the charity and its beneficiaries arising from alleged incidents of abuse, including the application of its safeguarding policy and procedures
the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees and whether or not the trustees of the charity have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law
whether, and to what extent, there has been misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity by the trustees
The Commission began engaging with the charity’s trustees in connection with its concerns in May 2014, following the national press coverage about the police’s arrests and investigation into claims of historical abuse cases at the school. After considering the trustees’ response and the Commission’s duty to protect public trust in charity, a decision was taken to open the statutory inquiry on 11 June.
The Commission stresses that it is not a safeguarding authority and its inquiries will not investigate allegations of abuse or actual incidents of abuse, whether historic or recent. Its concern is with the proper regulation of charities. Anyone with concerns about specific incidents of alleged abuses, whether historic or recent, for any charity, should report their concerns to the police and the relevant safeguarding authorities.
The Commission cannot comment further on its investigation while it is ongoing but once inquiries conclude, the regulator’s policy is 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 by the Commission are available on its website.
Notes to Editors
- The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.
- Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:
- charities know what they have to do
- the public know what charities do
- charities are held to account
- Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Charity Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of protective and remedial powers.
- The Commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities. More information on the Commission’s policy and factors taken into account when deciding to press release can be read online.