The Charity Commission (‘the commission’), the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into the Durand Education Trust (‘the charity’ - registered number 1136362). The inquiry was opened on 11 February 2015.
The charity has objects to advance education for the public benefit. It holds land used by the Durand Academy (‘the school’). The school itself is run and governed by a separate body, the Durand Academy Trust (‘the exempt charity’), which is regulated by the Education Funding Agency as principal regulator.
The commission has been engaging with the charity since October 2014 and has identified regulatory concerns in the course of its involvement. Among the concerns was a potential lack of separation between the management of the two charities. The commission was also concerned about the charity’s oversight of its investment assets.
The commission’s investigation has been opened in light of recent public interest in the activities of the charity and its relationship with the school and the exempt charity, and the need for public accountability in the administration of the charity.
The inquiry’s remit includes:
- whether or not the former trustees and trustees of the charity have discharged their duties and responsibilities as charity trustees
- the governance of the charity, including whether conflicts of interest were or are being identified and/or adequately managed and if there has been any unauthorised private benefits arising from the charity’s activities
- whether or not and to what extent there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct on the part of those acting in the administration and management of the charity
The commission stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrong doing. The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether 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 GOV.UK.
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.
- 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.