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Private Schools and the Provision of ‘Public Benefit’

  • RACHEL J WILDE (a1), FRANCIS GREEN (a2), PETER TAYLOR-GOOBY (a3) and SUSANNE WIBORG (a4)

Abstract

Legislative changes and a recent court ruling allow private schools in England and Wales to determine how to provide the public benefits required to justify their charitable status. We investigate how private school headteachers and other informed stakeholders perceive their public benefit objectives and obligations. We find that schools interpret public beneficiaries widely to include one or more of state school pupils, local communities, other charities, and general society through raising socially responsible adults. Private schools pursue their own goals through public benefit provision, and balance the advantages of public benefit activities against the costs. The schools are not constrained by the ‘more than tokenistic’ minimum set by the regulator. The findings highlight the difficulties faced by governments who seek to pursue redistributive educational policies through charitable law.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Private Schools and the Provision of ‘Public Benefit’

  • RACHEL J WILDE (a1), FRANCIS GREEN (a2), PETER TAYLOR-GOOBY (a3) and SUSANNE WIBORG (a4)

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