The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry (‘the inquiry’) into Al-Hijrah Trust – registered charity number 1018850 (‘the charity’). The inquiry was opened on 8 June 2015.
The inquiry was opened following a compliance visit and inspection to the charity in February 2015 to assess and verify the trustees’ compliance with an action plan issued by the commission; the charity’s trustees have repeatedly failed to submit the charity’s accounts within the statutory timescales and address concerns, previously raised by the commission, over the charity’s internal financial controls.
The charity has objects to advance the education and training of children and young people particularly, but not exclusively, those of the Muslim faith. The charity also exists to promote public education about Islamic religion and culture. The charity owns the land and premises occupied by a school, known as the Al-Hijrah School (‘the School’), which is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education as principal regulator. The charity is not responsible for the running of the school or its funding which is received from Birmingham City Council, nor is the school and its operation the subject of the inquiry.
The inquiry is examining the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees, including whether they have complied with their legal duties and responsibilities and the extent of wrongdoing – if any – by the trustees of the charity, with particular focus on the charity’s finances and the terms upon which rental income, derived from the school’s occupation of the charity’s land and premises, is held and expended.
The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether or not there has been misconduct or mismanagement; establish the extent of the risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work; decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its investigative, protective and remedial powers to do so.
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 its website.
The charity’s details can be viewed on the commission’s online charity search tool.
Notes to Editors
The Charity Commission is the independent 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 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.