NT Christian Schools: mini-charity review

This review has been updated on 7 November 2018.

Mini-charity review of NT Christian Schools (NTCS), an organisation that is an Associate member of Missions Interlink.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • They did not respond to the draft I sent on 24 February.

Is NTCS registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.
  • Fundraising licences: it only operates in the Northern Territory and that state doesn’t have a fundraising licensing regime.

What does NTCS do?

  • While from the name you might think that they are a representative organization for Northern Territory Christian schools, NTCS actually owns and runs five colleges and three schools itself.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Their Statement of Faith, ‘the central document of this organisation’, says that ‘God wants us to tell people about Jesus and why He died for us’, but the use of ‘Gospel’, ‘Jesus’, and ‘Christ’ on the website suggests that this is too difficult in practice.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • Insufficient information is published to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Not to NTCS itself, but to its fund Northern Territory Christian Schools Building Fund

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – they don’t seek donations online.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (five months after their year-end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015): Apart from the absence of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • From Section E of the AIS 2015 we know that NTCS produced the lower standard special purpose financial statements. For an organisation running eight public educational institutions all over the Northern Territory, using principally taxpayers’ money ($23.01 m of it), it is implausible that all the stakeholders, both present and prospective, have the capacity to command the preparation of a financial statements tailored to their needs.
    • Because NTCS’s schools are non-government schools, NTCS was not required to lodge a Financial Report.
    • However, their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”  So just ask.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • No report is publicly available.
  • From Section E of the AIS 2015:
    • The had a deficit of 3% of Gross Income.
    • Over 70% of Gross Income is from government grants.
    • Current assets are only 60% of current liabilities.
      • Did the auditor comment on this?
    • Long-term financial structure is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • No audit report is available publicly.
    • The last page of the audit report is included in the Annual Report. This shows a ‘clean opinion’.
      • However, the auditor agreed with the directors’ view that special purpose financial statements are appropriate.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Almost – it is missing some responsible persons.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not directly shown on the website.
  • The ACNC Register show only two people, with only one of those matching the above list:
    • Danielle Little
    • Phoebe Van Bentum

To whom is NTCS accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink[1] via its an Associate membership.
  • NTCS is also accountable to the ACNC.
  • And, as a company, to ASIC.

 

 

  1. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.