Press release

Regulator appoints interim manager at independent special school charity

Commission appoints interim manager to Hope House School Limited

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The Charity Commission has today announced the appointment of an interim manager to Hope House School Limited due to continued concerns about the governance, management and administration of the charity.

Interim managers are appointed to take over the running of a charity where the Commission has identified misconduct or mismanagement, or there is a need to protect the charity’s property.

The Commission opened a statutory inquiry into Hope House School Limited on 9 October 2017 to examine regulatory concerns about the governance of the charity, whether the trustees had exercised sufficient oversight and control of the charity, the adequacy of financial controls and whether funds had been properly spent on the objects of the charity, whether potential conflicts of interest and connected party transactions have been properly managed and whether there has been unauthorised trustee benefit.

The Commission made an order under Section 76 (3)(g) of the Charities Act 2011 on 20 August 2018 to appoint Guy Hollander of Mazars as interim manager to the exclusion of the trustees. One of the trustees is the principal of the school but the order does not exclude this trustee from that employee role.

The interim manager has taken on full control of the day-to-day management and administration of the charity from the current trustees until the Commission makes a further order. The school term commenced on 6 September 2018 and it is the interim manager’s intention that the charity will continue to provide education and services to the school’s pupils who are all faced with a wide spectrum of autism.

Harvey Grenville, Head of Investigations and Enforcement at the Charity Commission said:

We were not satisfied that the current governance and administration arrangements were adequately meeting the needs of this charity. This appointment is an important protective measure for the charity and those it was set up to help.

Part of the interim manager’s duties will be to establish the viability of the charity and determine the most appropriate option regarding its future. He is tasked with ensuring that the charity continues its service provision while he completes his appointment.

The Commission’s investigation continues.

Ends

Notes to editors

  1. 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.
  2. 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 are available on GOV.UK.
  3. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. For more information see the about us page on GOV.UK.
  4. Search for charities on our online register.

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Published 7 September 2018