You are here

Balls drops plan to exempt academies

2 February 2010

Ed Balls, secretary of state for children, has dropped plans to make academy schools exempt charities.

Under the plan, academies would have been treated as charitable automatically and regulated directly by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). Instead they will continue to register with and be regulated by the Charity Commission.

A spokeswoman for the commission said it had consistently argued for the removal of the proposal from the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

“We had warned that it would have reduced the accountability and transparency of academies, creating confusion and seriously risking damage to public trust and confidence in academies and in charity more widely,” she said.

“Key parliamentarians, who have taken a longstanding interest in the voluntary sector, shared our concerns.”

The spokeswoman said that 200 academy schools were currently registered as charities. She said that while the colleges at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham universities had exempt status, they would be losing it later this year and be regulated by the Charity Commission.

“We have since October had in place a joint protocol with the DCSF for academies applying to register, specifically designed to minimise bureaucracy.

“This is already helping streamline the registration process and we are confident it is the right approach to registering academies.”

The government today tabled an amendment to the Bill, removing clause 42, the exemption provision.

Categorised in:

Road traffic Charities Vulnerable Clients