Mine clearance charity the Halo Trust pays for the boarding school education of its chief executive’s children, it has been revealed.
Guy Willoughby, who co-founded the charity 25 years ago, receives a financial package of between £210,000 and £220,000 from the Halo Trust, according to its 2013 accounts. The charity became famous for its associations with Princess Diana before her death.
A statement from the board of Trustees at the Halo Trust said “Like some other charities and their senior executives, Guy is very much hands-on and leads from the front putting his life in danger regularly, as he himself gets involved clearing landmines by hand, working, surveying and travelling in conflict and post-conflict countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia, Angola, Sri Lanka and The West Bank.
“In 2013, Guy spent 60 to 70 per cent of the year working abroad to drive the charity’s goals and ambitions to rid the world of landmines.”
The Telegraph has reported that this figure includes the cost of sending three of his children to two of Britain’s most expensive private schools.
Willoughby’s son currently attends Oundle School in Northamptonshire, which costs £30,705 a year, while two of his daughters attend Queen Margaret’s School in York, which, although offering a sibling discount, costs £27,825 a year.
His eldest child, who is currently studying at university, also had her school fees paid for by the charity.
The statement continued: “Our entire ethos as a charity is focused on efficiency and productivity to ensure that we achieve the maximum outcomes in the field and make the world a safer place. Halo’s beneficiaries and staff deserve and require a highly competent and professional management team and the board has taken the necessary steps to recruit and retain one."
The Halo Trust pays for the school fees of children, aged between ten and 18, of staff who have been working for the charity for more than seven years. This is a taxable benefit, it says, which the charity offers in order to remain competitive among its counterparts in the sector, such as the United Nations, Army and Foreign Office.
It claims that a benefit of the school fees scheme is that the salaries of its senior staff will continue to decline as their children leave the education system. The board of trustees claim that that makes the scheme more efficient for the charity in the long term.
Actor/director Angelina Jolie is a trustee of the charity and Prince Harry is one of its patrons.
The Halo Trust, which last year had an income of £26,442,000, had a total expenditure of £25,786,000 in 2013. According to its accounts, £25,749,000 was on charitable activities. The charity employs 8,000 staff across 16 current and former war-zones.
A spokeswoman from the Halo Trust said: "As part of the school fees scheme, the Halo Trust pays 66% of school fees (for those employees who are eligible). Halo's scheme covers children aged 10 - 18.
"The UN provides 75% of private education costs up to £24,241 pa per child (2011 figures) for staff's children aged 5-25 years (or to the end of their first university degree, whichever comes first).
"The International Red Cross pays 100% from age 3 to 18 for schooling in regional hubs such as Delhi, Nairobi, Washington DC, Geneva."