The charity watchdog is investigating an educational charity for the second time after it breached operating conditions imposed by the Department for Education. The charity, which operates the Rabia School in Luton, has also failed to comply with actions set by the Charity Commission.

The regulator previously investigated the Rabia Educational Trust in 2016-17, finding there had been misconduct and/or mismanagement, and issuing the trustees with a legal Order. This directed the trustees to make improvements, including to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements of Ofsted and the Department for Education.

The Commission has since kept the charity under close review and provided further regulatory advice and guidance. Whilst some progress has been made, the trustees have persistently failed in the requirement to meet the Independent Schools Standards.

In May 2020 the charity and its chair were convicted for breaching operating conditions imposed by the Secretary of State for Education. Ofsted inspectors had found evidence that the school was admitting new pupils despite being prohibited from doing so due to successive safeguarding and welfare failings.

As a result of this, and the failure to comply with regulatory advice and guidance, the Commission opened a new inquiry into the charity on 5 October 2020.

This inquiry will examine the trustees’ compliance with their legal duties around the administration, governance and management of the charity, and whether the charity can be placed on a firmer footing for the future. The regulator may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.

Ends.

Notes to editors:

  1. View the charity’s entry on the register of charities.
  2. The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.

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