The importance of accurate serious incident reporting
Charity trustees are reminded of the importance of accurate serious incident reporting following the publication of a Charity Commission report on Gads Hill School in Kent.
The Commission launched an investigation into Gads Hill School, an independent school in Rochester, in February 2013 following a serious incident report made by the then chair of governors. The report highlighted concerns that the Headteacher's salary was excessive and not commensurate with the role. A salary review was subsequently carried out by the governors and the salary was reduced accordingly. However the serious incident report had been misleading as it had not addressed associated issues around personal expenses claims by the Head. This led to further involvement by the Charity Commission in July 2014.
This report highlights not only the importance of serious incident reporting, but also serves as a reminder to trustees of their duties to always act in the best interests of the charity and to ensure good financial controls are in place. In this case, the trustees delegated some of their responsibilities, including reviewing the Head's salary, to a finance sub-committee. Although delegation is permitted, trustees remain responsible for any decisions made and need to maintain oversight of the charity's finances.
We know that all charity trustees are concerned to ensure that they understand their duties, which is why we offer regular trustee training, both for new trustees and as a refresher for more experienced trustees. We are also able to tailor bespoke training for your trustees on any area of charity law and governance. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.