Charity Commission Opens Inquiry Into Under Trees School

Regulator will examine financial and governance concerns at the Kidderminster-based charity

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Under Tree Schools (1117679), to examine concerns that could amount to misconduct and/or mismanagement at the charity.

Under Trees School has charitable objects to relieve poverty and advance education in Aweil County, South Sudan.

Given existing concerns about the financial controls of the charity, the Commission has restricted the use of the charity’s bank account.

The Commission first engaged with the charity in January 2019, following an examination of the charity’s books and records, when the Commission found the charity could not account for how charitable funds sent to South Sudan had been spent.

Serious concerns about the charity’s inadequate financial controls, particularly in relation to conducting due diligence on those receiving funds, and its transmission of funds to Africa were also revealed by this engagement.

The Commission opened an inquiry on 2 December 2019 to examine:

  • the governance arrangements within the charity

  • whether there has been any loss of charitable assets

  • whether there is any ongoing risk to the charity’s assets

  • whether there has been misconduct and/ or mismanagement within the administration of the charity by its trustees

  • the viability of the charity in the future

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.