Regulator investigates education charity

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Birmingham-based education charity after trustees failed to file serious incident reports about regulatory failings, and in response to concerns about the charity’s financial controls and accounting

The Albayan Education Foundation Ltd has objects including the advancement of education and the relief of individuals living in the UK and overseas who are in need or hardship, and also runs a school in Birmingham. That school has been issued with a number of critical reports by Ofsted, and statutory notices by the Department for Education (DfE).

However, the Commission said that none of these issues triggered the trustees to report a serious incident to the Commission, as would have been expected under its serious incident reporting regime.

The regulator had previously engaged with the charity, issuing an action plan to the trustees aimed at improving the governance, management and administration of the charity, which has an annual income of around £250,000 and which filed its accounts late for the four years 2014-1207.

However the trustees have failed to implement the action plan fully. The Commission says it has serious concerns about the ongoing viability of the charity and as a result, has opened an inquiry which will examine the governance, management and administration of the charity.

This will include examining whether the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law, and whether they have complied with the requirements of other regulators, in particular the DfE.

The inquiry will also consider the financial controls and management of the charity’s funds and accounting procedures.

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.

Report by Pat Sweet

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