Parent leaders refuse to quit charity

Officials at England's largest parents' group who were called on to step down by the Charity Commission, yesterday dug in their heels and refused to quit, despite calls from former trustees for them to resign and pay back all expenses.

As the controversy surrounding the National Confederation of Parents Teacher Associations was hastily added to the agenda of a top-level Home Office meeting with the Chief Charity Commissioner, the three officers insisted they would stay put.

The Independent revealed yesterday that the Commission, which has just completed an inquiry into the charity, had written to its press officer, treasurer and membership secretary asking them to resign and seek urgent legal advice over paying back tens of thousands of pounds in salaries.

The Commission says the three - Margaret Morrissey, Andrew Smetham and Belinda Yaxley - were trustees at the time they took up their posts and have, therefore, contravened charity law by benefiting financially from their trusteeships. The officials admit they were trustees when appointed, but say they had stood down by the time they started their paid part-time jobs.

Two former trustees, who were sacked by the charity last year after calling for reform, last night demanded that the current ruling group be held responsible for any salaries and expenses paid in defiance of the Charity Commission advice.

Sean Rogers and Sandi Marshall, who were thrown off the NCPTA's ruling body by a process dubbed a "kangaroo court" by the Charity Commission, said the three should "do the decent thing and go now".

Ms Marshall said: "I find it extraordinary that other trustees have not demanded these people's resignation. They were told in March by Charity Commission investigators that the position of these staff was untenable. I feel the Commission should now tell the trustees that by continuing to expend the charity money in this way, the trustees are making themselves liable for a bill."

The resignations row brings to boiling point years of unrest in the NCPTA, which represents parents in over 11,000 schools.

In return, the NCPTA - the largest and wealthiest parent's body in the country - acts as a national voice for parents, commenting on education policy and lobbying ministers.

NCPTA chairman Judith Wood yesterday insisted the charity remained on an even keel. It had been given until 30 June by the Charity Commission to complete its own investigation into the affair.

The Commission's report is expected to be published next week. Charity Commission sources yesterday underlined their belief that the officials were still trustees when they took up their posts.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent