New Charity Investigation: Darul Uloom School London

Charity Commission opens statutory inquiry into Darul Uloom School London

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into Darul Uloom School London over concerns about potential misconduct and mismanagement at the charity. The inquiry was opened on 15 June 2018.

The charity’s object is for the advancement of education and religion in accordance with the tenets and doctrines of Islam. The charity provides Islamic and national curriculum education to children and young people.

The Commission received a serious incident report from the charity after police arrested one of the charity’s trustees, and seized weapons and cash held at the charity’s premises. The individual was also a teacher and designated safeguarding lead at the school. The Commission therefore, immediately after opening the inquiry, exercised its powers under section 76(3)(a), suspending the individual as trustee, officer and agent of the charity. A second individual, also a trustee and headteacher at the school, was also arrested.

On 13 June the Secretary of State submitted a complaint to Westminster Magistrates Court under section 120(1)(b) of the Education and Skills Act 2008 for an order that the school be removed from the register of independent schools – the consequence of which is that it would no longer be able to operate. A hearing took place on 15 June and was adjourned until 22 June where a settlement between the Department for Education and the charity was reached.

The scope of the inquiry will include:

  • the management and oversight of the charity by the trustees – including the financial management of the charity and whether conflicts of interest are being properly identified and managed by the trustees
  • the conduct of the arrested individuals

The Commission continues to work with the Metropolitan Police, the DfE and Bromley Council in whose authority the independent school, operated by the charity, resides. 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.

Boss Banned After Construction Company Breaches Health And Safety Regulations

A boss has been banned after he failed to ensure Ashbourne-based construction company complied with health and safety regulations which led to an employee suffering life changing injuries

The Insolvency Service

The Insolvency Service

Michael Allen, 64 of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was a director of Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Limited, a specialist company in manufacturing and erecting steel-framed agricultural and industrial buildings.

In July 2014, one of Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Limited’s workers was carrying out repairs on a farm building in Buxton, when they fell through the roof and suffered life-changing injuries.

An investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and they found that Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Limited breached several health and safety regulations.

Among several breaches, HSE found that the company failed to carry out health and safety plans for the site in Buxton, did not properly train the employee to carry out fragile roof work and equipment was inadequate and insufficient for the risks posed.

As a result of court proceedings the company was found to be in breech of three counts of the working at heights regulations and was fined £274,671 in November 2016.

However, Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Limited went into liquidation in December 2016 and Michael Allen told investigators that the business closed down because it could not afford to pay the fine imposed by the court.

But further investigations by the Insolvency Service found that after the accident and to allow for a clear division between fabrication and installation activities, a new company was incorporated in October 2014. The new company carried out fabrication services, while the installation side of the business was wound down.

And if the fabrication contracts had remained within Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Limited, the original company, there would have been sufficient funds to pay the fine.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has since accepted a disqualification undertaking from Michael Allen.

Effective from 27 June 2018, he is now banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for 6 years.

Dave Elliott, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:

Michael Allen had a lack of regard for the workers, which unfortunately resulted in a horrific injury for one person.

Directors who fail to adhere to health and safety regulations to protect their employees and then fail to pay the fine can expect to face the consequences of a period of disqualification.

Notes to editors

Michael Allen, date of birth is February 1954, is known to have resided in Ashbourne.

Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Limited (CRO No.02832623) was incorporated on 02 July 1993 and traded from Derbyshire manufacturing and erecting steel framed agricultural and industrial buildings.

Michael Allen was a director from 02 July 1993 until the company went into liquidation on 22 December 2016. The estimated deficiency as regards creditors and shareholders was £217,833.

On 6 June 2018 the Secretary of State accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from Michael Allen, effective from 27 June 2018, for a period of 6 years. The matters of unfitness that were accepted were that:

On 30 July 2014, Michael Allen failed to ensure that Allen and Hunt Construction Engineers Limited complied with its obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and as a result an employee fell through the roof of a barn and sustained serious and life changing injuries.

Disqualification

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

The Insolvency Service (England and Wales)

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies.

The agency also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

SACN Publishes ‘Feeding In The First Year Of Life’ Report

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) publishes recommendations for infant feeding

Baby

Baby

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has published its report on ‘Feeding in the first year of life’, providing recommendations on infant feeding from birth up to 12 months of age.

The last review of infant feeding was undertaken by SACN’s predecessor Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) in 1994 and formed the basis for government recommendations in the UK.

SACN recommends babies are exclusively breastfed until around 6 months of age and continue to be breastfed for at least the first year of life. Additionally, solid foods should not be introduced until around 6 months to benefit the child’s overall health. This represents no change to current government recommendations. SACN concludes breastfeeding makes an important contribution to infant and maternal health. This includes the development of the infant immune system, while not breastfeeding is associated with a higher risk of infant hospital admission for infectious illness.

By around 6 months of age, infants are usually ready to accept foods other than breastmilk or formula. SACN concludes delaying solid foods to around 6 months is not associated with later difficulty in accepting solid foods – the idea of a ‘critical window’ between 4 and 6 months is not supported by the evidence.

SACN has recommended strengthening advice regarding the introduction of peanuts and hen’s egg – advice on complementary feeding should state these foods can be introduced from around 6 months of age and need not be differentiated from other solid foods. The deliberate exclusion of peanuts or hen’s egg beyond 6 to 12 months of age may increase the risk of allergy to these foods.

Other recommendations include:

  1. Breast milk, infant formula and water should be the only drinks offered between 6 and 12 months of age. Cows’ milk should not be given as a main drink, as this is associated with lower iron status.
  2. A wide range of solid foods, including foods containing iron, should be introduced from around six months of age, alongside breastfeeding. These foods should have different textures and flavours and may need to be tried several times before the infant accepts them, particularly as they get older.

Breastfed infants up to 12 months should receive a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10µg of vitamin D (340-400 IU/d). Formula-fed infants do not need a supplement unless consuming less than 500ml of infant formula a day.

SACN raises concerns about the proportion of infants with energy intakes above requirements and the proportion exceeding growth standards for their weight – around three-quarters of infants for both. SACN recommends consideration is given to monitoring the prevalence of overweight and overfeeding in infants, and ways to address high energy intakes in this age group.

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE) said:

The SACN report reinforces existing advice on infant feeding in relation to breastfeeding and the introduction of solid foods. In new advice, it provides clear guidance on the introduction of allergenic foods.

SACN’s robust advice puts to bed any arguments about a beneficial effect of early introduction of solid foods.

PHE’s Start4Life website provides a range of advice and resources to help parents through pregnancy, birth and parenthood. This includes tips on infant feeding to help give children the best nutritional start in life.

Sunny Outlook For UK Science As New Radar Promises Improved Weather Forecasting

7 cutting-edge science projects receive a share of £4.7 million government funding

An image of clouds viewed from the Chilbolton Observatory (STFC RAL Space)

An image of clouds viewed from the Chilbolton Observatory (STFC RAL Space)

An innovative cloud profiling radar is 1 of 7 exciting new projects whose funding was announced this morning by the UK Space Agency.

The cloud radar (being developed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s RAL Space facility) to improve the accuracy of weather forecasting, won a share of a £4.7 million funding pot to develop highly innovative sensors that could be used to monitor climate change, improve mapping and co-ordinate disaster relief efforts from space.

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said:

The UK is a world leader in earth observation technology, which not only allows us to better understand the planet that we live on, but also has outstanding potential for export – providing highly skilled jobs and economic growth across the UK.

This new funding is fundamental in our mission to grow the UK’s space economy and maintain our leadership in these science and technology areas, and I am keen to see the results.

From world-leading science in orbit to innovative satellite technology and services, space is a fundamental part of Britain’s future. The UK space sector is growing, worth £13.7 billion (2014 to 2015) to the economy and employing more than 38,000 people across the country.

In November 2017 businesses and organisations were invited to bid for UK Space Agency funding to match their own investments in developing new EOtechnologies that could create export opportunities for the UK and match the ambitions of the newly released EO Technology Strategy

Following a hotly contested competition run by the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) and extensive peer review, the 7 winning projects were announced today.

These will work to:

  • design a cloud profiling radar, able to provide enhanced scientific data that can improve the accuracy of weather prediction
  • develop a new optical sensor and high-resolution multispectral camera system to provide sub-meter ground resolution, with good image quality, low mass and low recurrent cost
  • implement, test and demonstrate new image analysis techniques to substantially reduce the amount of data a satellite needs to store and downlink
  • demonstrate a novel single-pixel imaging technique for a multispectral instrument suitable for nanosatellite deployment, providing high capability at low cost
  • develop the mechanisms, optics and interfaces to build a new, steerable video and still camera system in order to form the basis for a low-cost family of commercial products
  • develop large format infra-red light detectors for use in a range of future imaging and hyperspectral instruments, in a collaboration with the Australian National University
  • develop the next generation black-body calibration system, essential for delivering highly accurate data from infrared sensing space missions which measure land and sea surface temperatures

CSPL Publishes Annual Report 2017-18

The Committee has published its annual report for 2017-18, setting out its strategic vision and purpose, reporting on its work for 2017-18, and outlining its watching brief for 2018-19

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

The independent Committee on Standards in Public Life today published its annual report for 2017 – 18. The report details the reviews and reports conducted this year, sets out the Committee’s ongoing programme of work and the standards issues on which it intends to maintain a watching brief in 2018-19.

Lord Bew, Chair of the Committee, who completes his five-year term on 31 August, said:

This year, we have considered a range of important, topical issues, from MPs’ outside interests to the continuing importance of ethical standards for those private companies providing public services – all the more timely given the collapse of Carillion early in 2018. We are now six months into a review of local government ethical standards. Amongst all this, we have contributed to consultations by others including on pre-appointment scrutiny of public appointments, local public accounts committees and the draft Behaviour Code for Parliament and have worked with others to highlight and promote a wide range of standards issues.

Perhaps most notably this year, we looked at the growing problem of intimidation in public life. The Committee felt that we were at a turning point in our political culture and that an urgent and concerted response was required. We welcomed the Government’s positive response to our report, which accepted almost all of our recommendations, in March this year.

There is always a risk that concerns relating to standards remain under the radar for a long period, and later emerge to public prominence, as is the case with the allegations of bullying and harassment at Westminster. It is critical that Parliament has fair and timely processes in which those who have made complaints, and those who are the subject of complaints, as well as the public, can have trust. We await the outcome of the various reviews commissioned by Parliament to address these serious issues.

To that end, in 2018/19, the Committee intends to maintain a close watching brief on culture and behaviour in Westminster, as well as other standards issues, including lobbying, and the operation of the Business Appointment Rules.

Since its creation in 1994, the Committee has made recommendations for reform to promote and uphold high standards of conduct across public life. Lord Nolan’s Seven Principles have been the widely accepted cornerstone of ethical standards for people working across all areas of public life for almost 25 years and are now fundamental for those in the private sector who are providing services funded by the taxpayer too.

The last five years have convinced me that the Seven Principles remain as relevant today as they were a quarter of a century ago. They may have their detractors – it is true that levels of public trust do not always respond precisely to high standards, and that transparency in itself, whilst still essential, is perhaps not the cure-all originally envisaged. Notwithstanding this, the Nolan Principles clearly articulate the public’s expectations of those that serve them and must be promoted, understood and reinforced across public life.

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