The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a new statutory inquiry into Hope House School Limited, registered charity number 1121132. The investigation was opened on 9 October 2017.
The charity’s objects are to advance the education of children who suffer from neurological and psychological conditions such as Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, autistic spectrum disorders, Asperger’s syndrome and Dyspraxia.
The Commission conducted a books and records inspection following an anonymous complaint which raised concerns about the charity’s governance and administration.
The visit raised a number of regulatory concerns and the Commission has therefore opened a statutory inquiry to examine the governance, management and administration of the charity. The inquiry will focus particularly on whether:
- the trustees have exercised sufficient oversight and control of the charity
- the financial controls of the charity are adequate and its funds have been properly expended solely in furtherance of its charitable objects
- potential conflicts of interest and connected party transactions have been properly managed
- there has been any unauthorised trustee benefit
The Commission has also exercised temporary and protective powers to restrict the transactions that the charity can enter into to ensure that any funds expended are only in furtherance of the charity’s objects and closely monitored.
The Commission stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and investigate 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; and 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 usual 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. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
- Search for charities on our check charity tool.
- 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 investigative, protective and remedial legal 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.