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Private Schools and the Provision of ‘Public Benefit’

Wilde, Rachel J, Green, Francis, Taylor-Gooby, Peter, Wiborg, Susanne (2016) Private Schools and the Provision of ‘Public Benefit’. Journal of Social Policy, 45 (2). pp. 305-323. ISSN 0047-2794. E-ISSN 1469-7823. (doi:10.1017/S0047279415000719) (KAR id:62104)


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.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0047279415000719
Projects: New Forms of Schooling
Uncontrolled keywords: Private Schools; Private Welfare; Charity; UK; Social Class; Privilege
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Peter Taylor-Gooby
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 14:34 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:46 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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