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Good to see the announcement that “Educate Plus, in partnership with AHISA and ASBA, has submitted a request to the Government for DGR guidelines for tax deductible donations to be altered to provide a ‘Student Hardship’ Fund which could receive tax deductible donations to support families in need and keep their children in their current independent schools.”
Whilst we await the results of that request, I’ve had further legal advice that we can accept tax-deductible donations for fee relief via our Scholarships Fund, through an appropriately worded Bursary charter. We have a draft Charter under review and I will provide an update once we know that is definitely okay legally, and also acceptable to our Governors.
I have also been advised from other sources that – separate to this request – there is lobbying underway to simplify DGR for schools, to unify the separate Scholarships, Capital, and Library Funds into a single DGR Fund. Presumably if the Educate Plus submission is successful, the Hardship Fund would be rolled in too.
Incidentally, I understand that the proposal would also allow for the new unified fund to incorporate provisions equivalent to those of a Necessitous Circumstances Fund (to allow tax-deductible donations to assist, for example, alumni who have fallen on hard times). However, I’m not sure how that would sit with the Education Act 83C requirement that all expenditure be directly related to the school’s normal operations.