Not a fit of pique

1st August 2008 at 01:00

Your characterisation of the Independent Schools Council's response to the Charity Commission ("Independents threaten to slam gates on state sector", TES, July 18) misrepresents the council's views and the concerns of the sector.

Our starting point is that the commission has misinterpreted the law, and we are not alone in this opinion. Experienced practitioners from 14 leading charity law firms conclude that the commission's guidance "does not reflect accurately the current law on public benefit".

What we do in our consultation response is highlight the substantial risk of unintended consequences flowing from the commission's erroneous views. Independent schools are not threatening to cease community or partnership activities out of pique. Rather, we fear that the sector will change in ways none of us wants as a result of the commission seeking to implement its view of what the "public benefit requirement" means.

Matthew Burgess, Acting Chief Executive, Independent Schools Council.

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