11 Feb 2016
Chair, LankellyChase Foundation from 1 August 2006
Dame Suzi Leather was chair of the Charity Commission from 2006 to 2012. In October 2012 she took up the position of chair at the LankellyChase Foundation and in January 2013 will join the council of the GMC.
Just after her appointment, at the Charity Commission the government passed the 2006 Charities Act, which stated that charities must provide a “benefit to the general public” in order to claim charitable status. Much of her chairmanship was consumed with determining how the Charity Commission will decide whether a charity provides public benefit.
How this public benefit test affects independent schools has been the subject of much media scrutiny, and this has earned Leather plenty of personal and professional criticism from those who support the charitable status of public schools. As a former public schoolgirl herself, who educates one of her own children at private school, she had to withdraw from the debate after taking legal advice. Certain factions of the media also like to focus on the fact that she is a glamorous and attractive woman and a career “quangocrat”, as if those attributes automatically preclude her from doing a good job in her current role.
From 2002-2006, she was chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and has also chaired the School Food Trust, the Food Standards Association and the Exeter and District Community NHS Trust.
She has a degree in politics from Exeter University and an MA in European politics from Leicester University. She is an active member of the Labour party.
She was made a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in January 2006.
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The prospect of a grading system for charities’ administrative costs has resurfaced in Joe Saxton’s newly-published strategic plan for building public trust and confidence in the sector.
The Charity Commission has today launched a three-month consultation on its revised public benefit guidance for charities, including a new online platform that features a blog for responses.
MPs from both sides of the House took the Charity Commission to task over its handling of the Atlantic Bridge affair yesterday, with Conservatives accusing the regulator of bias against right-leaning organisations and Labour saying it was not tough enough.
The Conservative chair of the Public Administration Select Committee used the Charity Commission’s evidence session before the Committee yesterday to grill Commission chair Dame Suzi Leather about her personal views on the charitable status of public schools.
Really agree with demonstrating impact in 15 words or less. Here at LCVS we have..................(sorry, ran out of words)
The Charity Commission has backed away from its proposal to devise a standard way for charities to report their admin costs after feedback from the sector revealed "concerns" about the idea.
Irene Khan, who recently received heavy criticism for accepting a £533,103 payoff from Amnesty International's trading arm when she was asked to leave the organisation, has resigned from the board of the Charity Commission.
The Charity Commission has decided it will reduce its one-to-one advice to charities and its interventions in individual cases, as it focuses on its key regulatory priorities in light of a 30 per cent budget cut over the next spending period.
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