January 11, 2010 12:00 AM

Commenting on provisions in the Children, Schools and Families Bill 2009 that would give Academies exempt charitable status, Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Charities, said:

"This is a woefully inconsistent and retrograde step.

"The Government claims to want to simplify the charitable landscape and ensure high quality regulation of the third sector.

"But this move will complicate the regulation of charities and shield academies from the independent scrutiny of their accounts and the public benefit test applied by the Charity Commission.

"Why should academies be treated differently from other schools. Public schools are regulated by the Charity Commission and there is no reason to treat academies any differently.

"Labour is trying to protect its own creation from the high standards of accountability and transparency that apply to everyone else in the sector.

"The Liberal Democrat have tabled a motion to scrap this Bill altogether."

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