Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Registered CE charities in England and Wales

Not as many as one might think

Fate took me today down a dusty byway that I have not ventured into for a couple of years now: the Charity Commission's Register of Charities.

While I was there I thought that it might be interesting to see what is new so I went to the search box and entered “Conductive Education” to see what it could find listed under Charity Titles and Charity Objects:

http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Nothing new here

This is what I found:

Action for Conductive Education (ACE)
Removed

BADJ Conductive Education Ltd
Removed

Charjoe Conductive Education
Removed

Conductive Education North East Ltd
Removed

Foundation for Conductive Education
Registered

Gloucestershire Rapid Action for Conductive Education
Removed

Megan Baker House
Removed

Merseyside Association for Conductive Education
Removed

National School for Children with Cerebral Palsy
Removed

Paces Sheffield
Removed

Paces Sheffield
Registered

Rainbow House for Conductive Education
Removed

Steps – Leicestershire Conductive Education Centre
Removed

The Hornsey Trust for Handicapped Children
Removed

The Hornsey Trust for Handicapped Children
Registered

The Rainbow Centre for Conductive Education
Removed

The Rainbow Centre for Conductive Education
Registered

The UK Network for Conductive Education
Registered

Unity Conductive Education
Removed

Three have deregistererd over the years (two of these reregistering immediately on slightly different terms) but nobody has taken the Registered Charity route for some time when opening a new Conductive Education organisation, not at least with the phrase Conductive Education emblazoned in its title or its charitable object.

Totting it up, there are only FIVE extant CE charities operating in England and Wales with the words Conductive Education in their titles and/or charitable objects – say perhaps, say, ten altogether including those more coy about what they do. 

Not just CE charities

Why so few now? Surely there are far more CE centres and services in England and Wales.

Of course there are, see Gill Maguire's updated listing:

http://www.gillian-maguire.info/2009/08/ce-centres-in-uk-new-place.html

This includes the whole of the United Kingdom, not just England and Wales – but there is only one service each in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Perhaps people no longer see any attraction in registering or staying registered with the Charity Commission, and fear yet another bureaucratic thicket. New work in Conductive Education in England is presumably operating under alternative financial-administrative arrangements, as businesses, consultancies or unregistered charities (I gather that some two-thirds of charities in England are not registered – and may have good reason for not so being). 

And of course some of the services that Gill lists are part of state schools or larger charities.

(There is a further important caveat here. Gill's listing is carefully defined as referring to places where conductors are employed. 'Having a  conductor', part-time, full-time or even more than one on site, is no guarantee that an establishment provides a Conductive Education. Though no guarantee either, inclusion of Conductive Education in a charity's objects, offers some assurance.)

All this notwithstanding, there persists a stereotype, an expectation, of a Conductive Education charity's being the one way of setting up a CE service in the UK. Like many another stereotype, it is a bit of a myth. Those considering starting something new should look with greater confidence to other ways of going about things, as others are also doing.

2 comments:

  1. Just for info: Before and After
    Paces Sheffield de-registered the old and re-registered the new when we took the decision to move from being (a) an Unincorporated association and registered charity to (b) a Company Limited by Guarantee and registered charity.

    It's a technical matter: it's not possible to do that without de-registering.

    Coincidentally, as regards your substantive question, it was suggested to me the other day that in the context of the changes in the provision of public services, the best option might be a social enterprise without charitable registration ie a company limited by guarantee, a co-operative or community interest company. (there's a new, fourth option but it escapes me at the moment). In other words, a fairly straightforward not-for-profit company.

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  2. I must admit that, in the days when such matters directly concerned me, I seriously questioned the worth of being 'registered'. For my charity and achieving its charitable object, that is.

    It did,however, seem very important to many funders. They seemed, despite all the evidence, to think that their money would be somehow 'safer' if they gave it to a registered charity.

    As ever, the concerns of the funders were very important!

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