Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 21 May

Not sure when you can refuse or return a donation? The Charity Commission is planning to issue a “guidance tool” for trustees. See today’s Briefing for more details.

Charities, Social Enterprise

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At a glance

HMRC has published guidance on the VAT treatment where a charity receives sponsorship and donations at the same time.

The Universities Minister has called on all institutions to accept the IHRA definition of antisemitism and step up to tackle religious-based hate.

Sixteen projects across the country are to receive £3 million of new funding to support innovative approaches to integration.

Charity Commission

Inquiry report

We are trialling a new way of reporting on Charity Commission inquiry reports. Please let us know if you have any views.

Name of charityAnything unusual eg unusual facts or novel/rare use of Commission’s powers
Nottinghamshire Miners’ Home (former registered charity Proceedings against a trustee under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover £200k (the aggregate amount of private benefit to trustees).

Also see under Fundraising below.

Tax and VAT

See under Fundraising below.


The Association of Chairs has produced guidance “Working with your trustees one-to-one.” AOC members can download the full guide. Otherwise, a 2 page summary is available for free here. Later this year AOC plans to publish two further guides to working with trustees – working as a team and working through difficult board relationships.


General charity sector

NCVO has published an article which details how charities can influence the future of the sector’s regulation, following the extension of Brexit.

Brexit Civil Society Alliance have published an article entitled ‘Marking the Government’s Homework on Brexit: A Civil Society Perspective’ which details how the Alliance will try to use the Brexit extension as an opportunity to discuss the next phase of Brexit planning within the sector.

International development

Bond have published a piece entitled ‘Brexit: threats and opportunities for international development’ which details the financial risks of Brexit on the sector. It also includes Bond’s key principles for the sector to get the most out of Brexit for the world’s poorest people.


A £635,000 investment from a Home Office-led consortium has been awarded to The Marie Collins Foundation (MCF), to support its work to help children who have been sexually abused online. MCF has developed the Global Protection Online Network (GPON), a programme to help countries take steps to respond to the threat of online child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSEA). GPON will help train safeguarding professionals to develop best practice on how to intervene in CSEA cases, including new guidelines and help to design new legislative measures. This will go alongside ongoing targeted interventions such as training and consultancy from MCF for professionals who work with young people and give access to an online portal for knowledge sharing, advice and research updates.


Updated HMRC guidance on fundraising donation/payment

HMRC has updated its guidance on how VAT affects charities (VAT Notice 701/1) to include a new section (5.9.6) on the VAT treatment where a charity receives sponsorship and donations at the same time.

Refusing/returning donations

The Charity Commission has announced it is planning to issue a “guidance tool” for trustees to help them with decisions to refuse or return donations. Sarah Atkinson, the Commission’s Director of Policy, Planning and Communications, made the announcement in this article for Governance & Leadership magazine. Anyone with an interest is encouraged to get in touch via [email protected] to tell the Commission what type of support they would benefit from. We are clarifying with the Charity Commission if there is a deadline for submissions.



The Department of Education reports over 9,600 primary schools have registered to take part in the pilot of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA), the new 20-minute check that will provide a snapshot of pupils’ development when they start school. The assessment will enable the removal of Key Stage 1 tests that currently take place at the end of year 2.

Appropriation of land for a new school

The High Court has held that Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council (council) unlawfully decided to dispose of allotment land without the consent of the Secretary of State (SoS), contrary to section 8 of the Allotments Act 1925 (AA 1925). The council decided to appropriate allotment land for a new school pursuant to section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972 and served the claimant and fellow allotment holders with notice to quit. It did not seek the SoS’s consent to the disposal. For more see R (Adamson) v Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council [2019] EWHC 1129 (9 May 2019)

Further education

The Universities Minister has called on all institutions to accept the IHRA definition of antisemitism and step up to tackle religious-based hate.

There are new regulations relating to educational establishments in England that are exempt from Houses in Multiple Occupation legislation. There are also two new codes of practice which replace the previous versions:

  • ANUK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Developments for Student Accommodation Managed and Controlled by Educational Establishments dated 1 May 2019.
  • Universities UK/Guild HE Code of Practice for the Management of Student Housing dated 1 May 2019.

An existing third code of practice remains in force – the Accreditation Network UK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Developments for Student Accommodation Not Managed and Controlled by Educational Establishments dated 20 February 2006.


The government has announced a second wave of 18 new and two expanded Careers Hubs, backed by a further £2.5m investment. Just over 1,300 secondary schools and colleges (around a quarter of those in England) will now benefit from being part of a Careers Hub.

Health and social care

NCVO is sharing learning from eight areas around England that are developing partnerships with the voluntary sector. See this blog on how charities can influence health transformation which outlines learning so far on the attributes of successful cross-sector collaboration.

NCVO has also flagged Transforming Healthcare Together which is an emerging body of resources and events for anyone interested in health and social care reform, led by IVAR and Social Enterprise UK.

NAVCA has flagged that the Care Quality Commission is asking voluntary and community organisations to take part in a survey which will help them to shape guidance on how the Commission will work with the sector. This will include what to expect from the CQC and how VCSE organisations should share information with them. The CQC is looking to make changes at a local level and is encouraging small and local charities and community groups to take part in the survey, which should only take five minutes. You can find the survey here.


Sixteen projects across the country are to receive £3 million of new funding to support innovative approaches to integration. They include a community gardening project in south-west London that helps new migrants to practice their English language skills while learning how to cultivate land, and table tennis clubs to be run across 3 housing estates in Brighton. Delivered in partnership with Sport England, the Fund will engage 70,000 people with activities in schools, community and leisure centres, and in partnership with businesses, local authorities and housing associations.

Social finance

Big Society Capital, together with Access, launches new social investment programme Local Access. The programme aims to support the growth of the social economy by providing a blend of grant and repayable investment worth at least £33m across five places in England.

Social impact

Bates Wells’ Impact Economy Brief is our fortnightly update, presenting a selection of articles, podcasts and materials, with the latest analysis and developments in the Impact Economy. If you’d like to know more, you can sign-up to the Brief. You may also like to take a look at our Impact Economy Glossary.

International development

See under Brexit above.

BOND has published “Our 4 asks for Rory Stewart”.


See under Communities above.


The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is consulting on changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/2356) to allow greater flexibility in the treatment of the pension liabilities of departing scheme employers. The changes would allow the possibility for the deferral of an exit payment (when a liability is triggered in relation to an employer’s participation in the LGPS) where an employer has a strong covenant, and to allow flexible recovery of such payments where the authority does not think “deemed employer” status is appropriate. The system for payment of exit credits, where an employer’s participation in the LGPS ends and it is broadly in credit on a buy-out basis, is to be changed to reflect the use of pass-through agreements that might have been agreed between the scheme employer and the service provider, but that the administering authority might be unaware of. If the administering authority is satisfied that the service provider has not borne any risk, the exit credit may be calculated as nil. The consultation closes on 31 July 2019.

Northern Ireland

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the High Court in Belfast has ruled that the functions of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) cannot be discharged by CCNI staff acting alone as there is no express provision to delegate functions to staff and no implied delegation under the Charity Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. This means that the regulator can only carry out its decision making powers by meeting as a complete body, or acting in accordance with the powers set out in paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 to the Act.

CCNI is reminding Northern Irish charities to double check annual reporting documents. The information submitted is automatically loaded to the NI Register of Charities; however, the accounting documents sometimes contain unexpected material which has been sent in by mistake, such as bank statements, correspondence and even a set of instructions for playing bridge.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of May 21, 2019.