The Charity Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales, has announced today that it has appointed an interim manager to Ampleforth Abbey (1026493) and the St Laurence Education Trust (1063808) as a result of continued concerns about the extent to which current safeguarding risks to pupils at the schools run by the charities are being adequately managed.
The Commission opened a statutory inquiry into both charities in November 2016 to investigate the charities’ trustees’ approach to safeguarding and their handling of allegations of abuse. The Commission is not satisfied that the charities’ current safeguarding policies, procedures and practices are adequate and working properly. This includes concerns about the charities’ compliance with established safeguarding procedures.
It has therefore made an order under Section 76 (3)(g) of the Charities Act 2011 on 21 March 2018 to appoint Emma Moody of Womble Bond Dickinson as interim manager of both charities.
She will have all the powers and duties of a trustee, to the exclusion of the trustees, in respect of a number of safeguarding related matters.
Harvey Grenville, Head of Investigations and Enforcement at the Charity Commission said:
It is of paramount importance that beneficiaries, and others who come into contact with charities, are protected from harm. We are not satisfied that the trustees of these charities have made enough progress in improving the safeguarding environment for pupils in the schools connected to the charities. For this reason, we have appointed an interim manager to expedite changes in the safeguarding arrangements at the schools.
The appointment comes after the Commission reviewed the progress made by the trustees in implementing recommendations made in March 2017 by an independent review commissioned by the charities.
The interim manager’s responsibilities will include:
- reviewing the sufficiency of the charities’ governance, leadership, management, culture, policies and practices with regard to safeguarding;
- scrutinising and reviewing the charities’ progress with implementing the recommendations arising from the independent review in 2017; and
- identifying and implementing any additional actions which are considered necessary or appropriate to provide a safe environment for children, young persons and vulnerable people at Ampleforth
Further information about the interim manager’s contact details and appointment can be obtained from the Ampleforth website. The interim manager will periodically update parents on the progress of her assignment.
Notes to editors
- The Charity Commission is the regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work see the about us page on GOV.UK.
- Search for charities on our online register.
- This appointment is a temporary and protective power that will be reviewed at regular intervals. It will continue until the Commission makes a further Order for its variation or discharge.
- The trustees of the charities will continue to have all the other powers and duties of trustees with the exception of the safeguarding functions as outlined above.
- In the context of safeguarding issues, the Commission has a specific regulatory role which is focused on the conduct of trustees and the steps they take to protect beneficiaries and other persons who come into contact with the charity. The Commission will not directly investigate allegations or incidents of abuse, although it may investigate the handling of such matters by charities. Anyone with concerns about specific incidents of alleged abuses, whether historic or recent, regarding any charity, should report their concerns to the police and the relevant safeguarding authorities.
- It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, 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 GOV.UK.