Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 13 July

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

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Bates Wells Highlights

We have published the latest in our series of blogs explaining the Charities Bill “Amending the governing document of a charitable trust or unincorporated association”. 

Due to well deserved holidays within the team that brings you the Briefing each week, our next Briefing will come out during the week of Mon 26th July.

At a glance

The Health and Care Bill and the Elections Bill have been introduced to Parliament.  

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance on preparing an annual return. 

The Fundraising Regulator has updated its guidance about wording on bags for house to house collections. 

The National Governance Association has published a report of its research into the qualifications, pay and conditions of governance professionals in maintained schools and academy trusts.

Coronavirus – changes to restrictions in England from 19 July

The Prime Minister has confirmed the move to Step 4 in England on 19 July.

Covid restrictions in education settings will end from Step 4, the government has announced.  The operational guidance can be found here and Schools Week has set out summary of the changes for schools here.  The Department for Education has also published new non-statutory guidance on assessment processes for selective school admissions, that will apply from Step 4 of the government’s roadmap out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charity Finance Group is working with other sector bodies to gather concerns from charities about how best to prepare and proceed for staff and service users when issues such as mask-wearing and social distancing become, from 19 July, a matter of personal choice.  CFG is keen to hear about anticipated major issues, concerns, worries or suggestions.  The person to contact at CFG is [email protected]

The Scottish Government has published new guidance on returning to offices

Coronavirus – government support

Civil Society Media reports large charities received more than a quarter of emergency Covid-19 government funding aimed at smaller community organisations, it has emerged. Hundreds of grants from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) were awarded to charities with incomes over £1m, even though the fund was established to help small and medium-sized charities cope with the impact of the pandemic.

Coronavirus – impact on the sector

UK Community Foundation has published a new report examining the impact of the pandemic on local Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations. 

Charities Bill

We have published the latest in our series of blogs explaining the Charities Bill “Amending the governing document of a charitable trust or unincorporated association”.  It’s recommended reading if you are considering making changes to your objects any time soon. In some circumstances you may want to press ahead now. But in others (and where changes are non-urgent) you may be better waiting for the new power to come in, which may enable changes to be made more easily.

For our earlier blog looking at similar issues for charitable companies and CIOs, see here


More than 160,000 VAT registered businesses which trade with the EU will be receiving a letter from HMRC, explaining additional customs steps they should take to ensure they can continue trading with the EU. 

Also see under Health and social care below.

Charity Commission

Annual return

The commission has updated its guidance on preparing an annual return to reflect its current approach to annual return filing extensions (as reported last week regarding amendments to the regulator’s coronavirus guidance).

CC apology re compliance case

Third Sector reports the Charity Commission has apologised to a charity after the Commission reviewed a compliance case relating to the charity and found aspects of it had been “disproportionate” and contained a number of other shortcomings.

Tax and VAT

In a recent report, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) sets out a vision for how government could make tax easier for people through making better use of data held by third parties.  Charity Tax Group has summarised here how making use of data held by third parties could impact on and improve Gift Aid. 

Sector General

Boris Johnson is due to make a speech this week on plans to “level up and unite the country”.  NCVO has published this update on its work re the levelling up agenda and the role of charities and volunteers. 

Grant funding

ACEVO is conducting a survey to better understand civil society groups’ experiences applying for and receiving grants from central government departments.

Climate change

In this blog, New Philanthropy Capital sets out details of its recent roundtable on how the social sector can embrace its role in the transition to a net carbon zero economy.

28 pension schemes have signed up to a new Occupational Pensions Stewardship Council which aims to be a platform for sharing best practice and research in areas including climate change, shareholder resolutions, and corporate governance.

Diversity and inclusion

See item re Ofsted in the Schools section of Education below.

Data protection

International data transfers

June was a significant month for international data transfers in both the EU and UK, following a flurry of activity from various levels of the EU. In this post, Bates Wells Victoria Horden considers the key developments in this fundamental area of data protection law, including what organisations should start to consider going forward.

Children’s Code

The ICO is continuing to run workshops to seek feedback and test draft its guidance to support conformance with the Children’s Code. See here for ways to get involved. You can also read our summary of what you need to know about the Code here.


Fundraising Regulator guidance – house to house clothing collections

The FR has updated its guidance for fundraisers to change the advice on communicating what proportion of proceeds will be given to a charity.  It has also updated its advice for the public to reflect this too.



See above under Coronavirus – changes to restrictions from 19 July.

The education select committee have asked the DfE to provide clarity as to where the government’s £3.1 billion of proposed catch-up funding is coming from, citing six specific questions to understand the spending.

Schools will have to pay 25% of the costs of running breakfast clubs under the national scheme from next year., after the government announced a cut in subsidies.  

Ofsted has published commentary on the DfE’s statutory guidance on relationships, health and sex education in schools, which aims to summarise its research into good practice in teaching about the protected characteristics of sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched new classroom resources to help children and young people take control of their online privacy.

The latest ESFA academies update can be found here, including a reminder to access and submit budget forecast returns before 27 July and information on the most recent updates to the model articles of association for academy trusts.

The National Governance Association has released its report of research into the qualifications, pay and conditions of governance professionals in maintained schools and academy trusts.

A consultation has been launched on the recommendations from a review of the Initial Teacher Training market, aimed at improving training standards for teachers. The consultation closes at 11.59pm on 22 August 2021.

Further Education

London colleges are struggling to spend their adult education budget, leading to a fear that London’s adult education budget could be cut.

Apprenticeship sector leaders have criticised a new rule (due to take effect from August) that means providers are no longer able to assess apprentices for funding for any learning difficulties as a standard part of enrolment.

The latest ESFA further education update can be found here, including information on how to apply for the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice and the updated apprenticeship funding rules.

Higher Education

The OfS has set out how it will calculate monetary penalties if it decides to impose a penalty on a university or college in its recently published guidance.

Health and social care

The Health and Care Bill has been introduced to Parliament.  For a summary of key measures, see here

A new programme aimed at levelling up outcomes for vulnerable children has been announced, backed by £24 million.

Plans for a new pilot to help people exercise more and eat better have been laid out, as the government looks for a partner to help run the scheme.

The Minister for Future Borders and Immigration has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to undertake an independent review of adult social care and the impact that ending freedom of movement has had on the sector. 


A government press release about the levelling up agenda includes that £25 million has been committed by government to build new grass roots sports facilities, equivalent to 50 new artificial football pitches.

Elections and campaigning

The government has now published the Elections Bill which covers enhanced protections around voter qualification, postal voting, scrutiny of the Electoral Commission and controls on campaigning activity.  For more see this government press release

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has published:


See under Climate change above.

Consumer law

The EU consumer regime will shortly begin to diverge from the UK consumer regime in 2022 when member states start to apply three new EU consumer law directives.  Any charities and social enterprises selling to consumers in the EU should start preparing for these changes. 


Scottish Social Enterprise are hosting a free ‘Meet OSCR’ webinar on Wednesday 14 July where the speakers (Chief Executive Maureen Mallon and senior manager Laura Anderson) will be discussing OSCR’s current work and answering questions.

You might also be interested in…

Employment Update Webinar – Thursday 15 July, 3pm

Our bi-monthly employment update webinar is coming up – many of our clients find this session useful for keeping up with employment law developments which directly impact on their organisation.

Return to the Office webinar series– next instalment 10 August, 3pm

How has your organisation been dealing with plans to return to the office? Our new free employment webinar series includes topics such as remote performance management; a guide to long covid for HR professionals; and data protection and the challenges of online working, among others. Watch the recording of last week’s session, Flexible working requests – what does the law require and what does the future hold?

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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 July 12, 2021.