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a charity for the rich

Fettes College and St George’s School for Girls, both Edinburgh, and St Columba’s School in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, have failed the regulator’s charity test and been warned they must do more to help pupils from low-income families or lose their charitable status. As charities they are excused corporation tax and receive an 80 per cent discount on their rates. It also makes them eligible for specific loans and grants. They have been given 18 months to widen access.

Fettes, former prime minister Tony Blair’s old school, fees were “substantial and represent a restriction on accessing the majority of the benefit the charity provides”. Fettes charges £12,555 a year for primary pupils and £19,680 for those who are boarding. Fees for secondary pupils are £20,235 – £27,150 for boarders. Of the school of 706 only five received a full award, entitling them to 100% of the fees.