The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Dar ul Uloom Islamia Rizwia (Bralawai) over concerns about its administration and management.
These concerns include, but are not limited to, the trustees' failure to ensure that policies and procedures relating to safeguarding have been implemented, and the conduct of some trustees and staff members on social media.
The charity provides a place of worship, religious teachings, community services and also operates an educational centre for the benefit of the local community of Small Heath, Birmingham.
The regulator initially engaged with the charity in 2019 and found that safeguarding policies and procedures were not in place. The charity's trustees were issued with regulatory advice and gave assurances to the Commission that the educational centre would be closed and would not re-open until required improvements had been made. This included adequate trustee training and approved safeguarding policies and procedures developed by an independent professional advisor.
In November 2021, the Commission carried out a compliance visit to the charity's premises following regulatory concerns in relation to the social media activity of some of the charity's trustees and staff. These posts resulted in the charity receiving negative media attention and complaints being raised directly with the Commission.
As part of the compliance visit the Commission established that the educational centre had re-opened without adhering to the charity's policies and procedures. The re-opening had also taken place despite there being incomplete disclosure and barring service checks in place for those engaged in regulated activity.
The inquiry will examine:
- the trustees' failure to ensure that the charity's policies and procedures relating to safeguarding were complied with
- the conduct of trustees and senior management on social media, and whether they acted in accordance with the charity's social media policy
- whether there are unmanaged conflicts of interest in relation to working with partners
- general governance concerns including financial controls, the making and recording of key decisions and securing proper application of charitable funds
The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.
In addition to opening the inquiry, the regulator has also exercised its legal powers to compel the trustees to take specified action aimed at improving the administration and management of the charity.
It is the Commission's policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.
Reports of previous inquiries are available on GOV.UK.
Notes to Editors
The inquiry has been opened under Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011.
Regulated activity is work which involves close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups including children. The full legal definition of regulated activity is set out in Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.