B5.810 Advancement of education—pre-Charities Act 2006
This article considers the case law which applied to define charitable purposes before Charities Act 2006. Although that Act introduced a definition of charitable purpose, the case law listed in this article may still be of relevance.
Case law1 states that:
'The references to such trusts [ie for the advancement of education] in the preamble to the Statute of Elizabeth are as follows: 'The maintenance of schools of learning, and free schools and scholars in universities; the education and preferment of orphans'.'
The propagation of learning generally is a charitable object2; but it would appear that provision for the increase of the available stock of knowledge, where there is no provision made for the propagation of that knowledge, would not be charitable3.
The establishment or maintenance of schools4 or colleges5 and the provision of scholarships6 and schoolmasters7 are directly within the terms of the preamble.
By analogy gifts for the provision of prizes8, organised games9, and an annual school treat10 have been held to be for charitable purposes. A gift for distributing sweets among children of a parish, which was not confined to children attending school, has, however, been held not to be charitable11. A school is a charitable institution in the legal sense although the scholars pay full value for the services given