Private school wins reprieve

A private school that faced losing its charitable status has won a reprieve after tripling the number of free places it offers to poor children.

S. Anselm's, a fee-paying prep school in Derbyshire, failed the new public benefit test last year after the Charity Commission ruled it was not providing enough subsidised places.

The commission is due to announce that the 230-pupil school in Bakewell, has met the test by increasing the number of free places it offers from one to three, with the bursaries worth 100 per cent of the fees.

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The move is likely to have implications for other fee-paying schools, which could be forced to offer more free places in order to retain their charitable status.

The Independent Schools Council, which represents private schools, has previously raised concerns that the commission was taking a "narrow approach" to the rules, and it is seeking a judicial review of the guidelines.