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Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006, 16:35 GMT
Charities under watchdog scrutiny
Collection boxes
There are more than 22,000 charities in Scotland
A fee-paying school in Dundee is to be one of the first charities to be scrutinised under new legislation.

The High School of Dundee will be studied along with the University of Dundee, two miners' welfare societies, and a college and church in Glasgow.

The Office of Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) said groups whose status was uncertain under the new rules would be treated as a priority.

They must prove they have a charitable aim and provide a public benefit.

The charity regulator now has stronger powers to ensure Scottish charities keep detailed accounts of how money is raised and spent.

The rules were introduced following a number of high-profile cases where only a small part of funds raised by organisations went to good causes.

MSPs clashed

During the bill's passage through parliament, MSPs clashed over whether independent schools should retain their charitable status.

The legislation was passed without the backing of the Conservatives, who had concerns over the effect on private schools.

The Scottish Council of Independent Schools said private schools were committed to education and community service and one-in-10 private school pupils was given a bursary or scholarship.

The High School of Dundee, which has fees that range from 5,841 to 8,304 a year, will be one of eight charities to be studied by the OSCR as part of a pilot programme prior to the full programme next June.

OSCR's Marieke Dwarshuis said the charities had volunteered to participate in the pilot.

"Such co-operation will greatly assist us in refining our procedures and establish a generally straightforward process for these being assessed under the rolling review from next year," she said.

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