OSCR AND FEE-PAYING SCHOOLS AS CHARITIES
The Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) declared on 19 July 2007 that the fee-paying independent High School of Dundee had gained charitable status under the new test created by the Charities and Trustee Investments (Scotland) Act 2005 (see No 473), at least in part because some of its facilities were made available to the wider public in Dundee. There was predictable controversy, based at least in part on the contrast with the John Wheatley College, a further education establishment in the east end of Glasgow which had not yet gained equivalent status. Lord Foulkes, a Labour list MSP, was one of the most vocal critics (see The Scotsman, 1 August), but his contribution drew a powerful reply from novelist Allan Massie two days later. This mentioned Foulkes’ record as education convener of Lothian Regional Council in the 1970s but didn’t refer specifically to his then mission to draw George Heriot’s School into the state system or close it. For the story of his failure then, see Brian R W Lockhart, Jinglin’ Geordie’s Legacy (Tuckwell Press, 2003), pp. 294-298.
*The editor of Scots Law News declares an interest as a Herioter later a governor of the Heriot Trust, whose children attended Edinburgh council schools at primary and secondary levels and who was also a member of the relevant primary school’s School Board for two years.