Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 27 April

Our weekly round up of news and updates from across the sector.

Services
Charity
Sectors
Charities, Not For Profit
Type
News

Bates Wells Highlights

Following the unsuccessful director disqualification claims issued against Kids Company’s former trustees and chief executive, we have published a series of FAQs about the background to the case and the implications of the outcome more widely for the sector. 

Does your charity need an IP Spring Clean?  Our Branding and Trade Marks team is doing a great offer on IP protection which you might want to take advantage of.


At a glance

NCVO has published the latest results from the Respond, Recover, Reset survey.   

Actions taken by a number of funders to address climate change have been summarised in a new Association of Charitable Foundations’ report “Funder commitment on climate change: Year 1.”

Big Issue Invest has designed a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Measurement Tool to support organisations to measure their diversity characteristics internally and within the different groups that use their services.


Coronavirus – government funding

The government has published guidance and FAQs to help local authorities and partners to deliver activities supported through the £56 million Welcome Back Fund


Coronavirus – consultation on mandatory vaccination for care home staff

The Department of Health and Social Care has published a consultation on making Covid-19 vaccination a condition of deployment for workers deployed in care homes with older adult residents (that is any care home in England registered with the Care Quality Commission with at least one person over the age of 65 living there). This will not include those who are medically exempt from vaccination.


Coronavirus – impact on the sector

NCVO has published the latest results from the Respond, Recover, Reset survey.  Here are some of the headlines:

  • 30% reported a deteriorating financial position in the last month.
  • 60% expect their financial position to remain the same over the next month.
  • 59% expect an increase in demand for their services over the next month.
  • 68% of respondents expect Covid-19 to have a moderate or significant negative impact on delivering their objectives next year.

NCVO comments behind the headlines, it was evident that the response to Covid-19 has seen a shift in the relationship between VCSE organisations and local authorities. Through collaboration some organisations reported that they had grown their networks, shared knowledge and engaged in partnerships. There were also clear indications that a few organisations struggled to maintain relationships with their local authorities, citing frequent changes in staff, or lack of interest or knowledge in the sector as key barriers to engaging.


Charity Commission

The commission has published a press release announcing its decision to register LGB Alliance as a charity, as well as publishing the full decision.


Kids Company

Following the unsuccessful director disqualification claims issued against Kids Company’s former trustees and chief executive, Camila Batmanghelidjh, we have published a series of FAQs for clients about the background to the case and the implications of the result for the sector more widely. 

The FAQs include whether the outcome of the case is good or bad news for trustees, and how CEOs can minimise the risk of being found to be a de facto director.


Charity law cases

The Rittson-Thomas case on the School Sites Act 1841 has now been heard in the Supreme Court (see here for our summary of the previous Court of Appeal judgment). This case turns on timings – land had been granted for use as a school site under the 1841 Act. The school in question had moved to new premises and then later sold the old site. The question was whether or not the site needed to have been sold before the school closed and moved in order to rely on power in s.14 (which allows the school to keep the sale proceeds).  The Supreme Court decision of 23 April 2021 has overturned the Court of Appeal and found that the s.14 power can still be used even where the original school site is sold after the school has closed and moved premises, provided that there was a clear intention throughout to use the proceeds of such sale to improve the new site. Bates Wells associate Sophie Cass comments “This practical approach by the Supreme Court should be welcome news to those managing one of the many schools today still operating on land given under the 1841 Act.”


Sector General

A number of leading sector organisations have jointly signed a statement about the right of charities to campaign.  This was triggered by Sir John Hayes MP asking for representations across government to “stop the worthless work—often publicly funded—of organisations that are promulgating weird, woke ideas…”


Climate change

Actions to address climate change taken by a number of key funders have been summarised in this Association of Charitable Foundations’ report “Funder commitment on climate change:  Year 1 report”. 


Fundraising

If you missed our recent webinar about restarting public fundraising, you can access the recording here. Key themes discussed included how to apply the various government guidance to charitable fundraising activities, the need to have robust Covid-19 secure measures in place when conducting public fundraising (including undertaking risk assessments) and the rules around what charities can or cannot compel their fundraisers to do in terms of testing and vaccinations.


Education

Schools

Ofqual has published for consultation proposed guidance on reviews and appeals of GCSE, AS and A level results, and certain vocational and technical qualifications. The consultation is open to anyone who wishes to respond and closes at 11.45pm on 5 May.

The DfE has published its latest update relating to governance in maintained schools and academy trusts in England.  

A large-scale study will be conducted to investigate how the Covid-19 pandemic affects educational attainment, well-being, longer-term educational and career outcomes, and socioeconomic inequalities in life chances in a cohort of 12,000 Year 11 students across England.

A tool-kit of resources has been published by the National Association of Head Teachers for schools taking part in School Diversity Week’s annual celebration of LGBT+ equality, taking place from 21 to 25 June 2021.

Further Education

The fastest growing apprenticeship provider in England has filed for insolvency amid a government investigation into the speed and scale of its recruitment.  Around 1,250 apprentices now need to find a new provider.

The Chartered Institute for Further Education has relaunched itself as an independent body, after its financial support from the DfE ended and a “strategic review” taking place.  

Further & Higher Education

In its guide published to support higher education providers prevent and address harassment and sexual misconduct, the Office for Students has urged universities and colleges to review their harassment and sexual misconduct policies by summer 2021.


Social finance and social impact investing

The Baobab Foundation has launched a new report, ‘Digging Deeper – Insights on tailored funding to organisations led by Black people and communities experiencing racial injustice in 2020’, which looks into funding programmes designed in 2020. It explores how they reached organisations led by Black people and minority ethnic groups experiencing racial injustice. The Beacon Collaborative provides commentary on the report’s findings.

Pioneers Post – UK minister rejects calls to extend ‘not particularly attractive’ social investment tax relief. Pioneers Post comments on the UK Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s answers to questions in parliament on Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), and considers the potential for a new tax relief scheme that could replace SITR when it comes to an end in April 2023.

EVPA – Launch of the crowdfunding for impact e-talk series. EVPA is launching a new event series on the role of crowdfunding as a growing channel for Investing for Impact capital. The intention is to give visibility to this new area, share best practices, explore opportunities for impact and foster exchange between those already active and those interested.

Big Issue Invest launches Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Measurement Tool. Big Issue Invest has designed a Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Measurement Tool to support organisations to measure their diversity characteristics internally and within the different groups that use their services.


Public procurement and state aid

The European Commission has adopted its guidelines on regional state aid for 2022-2027. The revised guidelines will enter into force on 1 January 2022, and member states can now notify their future regional aid maps to the Commission. Bates Wells associate Suhan Rajkumar comments “While the new guidelines on regional state aid will apply to trade in goods in Northern Ireland, the UK’s new subsidy control regime – which applies throughout the rest of the UK – does not yet have any equivalent regional aid provisions (which, under the EU state aid regime, incentivise the provision of aid in disadvantaged areas and limit aid in wealthier areas)”.


Scotland

The Scottish Tech Army, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to mobilising Scotland’s tech talent for good, has joined forces with ScotlandIS, OSCR and Scotland’s digital skills academy, CodeClan, to present its inaugural ‘Tech for Good Summit Scotland’ taking place virtually this Wednesday 28 April, as a direct response to mobilising Scotland’s digital expertise in helping the widespread need for support in areas such as nonprofit/third sector organisations and the public sector. See also OSCR’s website and this blogpost for details.


Northern Ireland

CCNI has announced that it has opened a statutory inquiry into Foyle Youth & Community Association relating to concerns about the governance and administration of the charity.


Does your charity need an IP Spring Clean?  Our Branding and Trade Marks team is doing a great offer on IP protection which you might want to take advantage of.


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 April 27, 2021.