Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,
1. Would you please provide all correspondence, minutes, notes etc in connection with the transfer of Bearwood College from Charity Number 285287 (Bearwood College Trustees) to Reddam House (Berkshire) Ltd (and other subsidiaries of Educas International) in September 2014. Would you please include your records of:
a. Any concerns, complaints etc raised at any time in connection with the process leading to the disposal of the school, or subsequently.
b. Any consideration by the Charity Commission of the terms of the sale including the suitability of any obligations remaining on Charity Number 285287 (BCT) or any other charity.
2. Your guidance document, CC28, “Sales, leases, transfers or mortgages” reflects the provisions of the Charities Act 2011 and states that, while “it shouldn’t necessarily be an overriding consideration, you should think about who else would be affected by the disposal - for example, would it affect the beneficiaries, or public support for the charity?”
a. Do you provide any guidance, examples of best practice etc, to governors of charity schools as to how they might consider how the charity’s beneficiaries might be affected by a school disposal?
3. Your web site shows Charity 285287 Bearwood College Trustees as having as its charitable objects :
“TO ADVANCE THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE AND IN PARTICULAR BY THE PROVISION OF A CO-EDUCATIONAL DAY AND/OR BOARDING SCHOOL IN OR NEAR WOKINGHAM, WITH A PREFERENCE FOR: (1) CHILDREN WHO ARE OR WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO BECOME FOUNDATIONERS OF THE ROYAL MERCHANT NAVY SCHOOL FOUNDATION; AND (2) CHILDREN OF PERSONS WHO ARE OR HAVE SERVED AS MEMBERS OF THE MERCHANT NAVY; AND (3) CHILDREN OF PERSONS WHO ARE OR HAVE BEEN MEMBERS OF HER MAJESTY'S FORCES. AND ANCILLARY OR INCIDENTAL EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES AND OTHER ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE COMMUNITY.”
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Thank you for your email below and please find the attached letter and
relevant extracts of information in response to your request.
Dear Operations - Taunton (Queue),
Thank you for your response to the questions in my FOI request. However, I do not believe I have received a response to the following specific questions:
1. In Question 1b I asked about "Any consideration by the Charity Commission of the terms of the sale including the suitability of any obligations remaining on Charity Number 285287 (BCT) or any other charity." You appeared to be content that the price paid was satisfactory based on a "s119 Qualified Surveyors Report" . I assume the price will appear in the Accounts for BCT which I see were submitted to you on 11 March 2015 (but are not yet showing on the BCT charity page at http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Sho...) Is there any reason why you cannot now reveal the price paid to BCT for the property?
2. You supplied a copy of a question you asked BCT about "an overage clause in the conveyance to the charity" and BCT apparently replied that the Governors had been "advised to agree to an alternative arrangement whereby [REDACTED] would be paid to the [REDACTED] in full and final settlement of any claims they might have under the transfer document dated 27 March 2012." BCT goes on, in the correspondence, to discuss the overage clause in such a way as to suggest that the second redaction relates to the RMNSF (it is in the public domain that BCT purchased the school site from the RMNSF charity) and the first redaction appears to obscure a ‘figure’ i.e. amount paid. Would you please confirm the amount of money BCT paid under this overage clause and whether this was paid to the RMNSF?
Thank you for your email below concerning your original FOI request on
I can confirm that the redacted information was not disclosed because of
the exemptions under section 31, 40, 41 and 43(2) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. However, I am able to send you a copy of the
charity's latest accounts which are waiting to be uploaded onto the
Register. I hope this is helpful.
Should you be dissatisfied with my response to your request, then you do
have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests
should be submitted within three months of this letter and should be
addressed to the First Contact, PO Box 1227, Liverpool, L69 3UG
If you are then not content with the outcome of an internal review, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
Operations Team – Taunton
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