Manchester Diocesan Council for Education v Commercial and General Investments Ltd: 1969

The school governors were required to obtain consent before selling land formerly used as a school.
Held: The court rejected a submission that that consent was a necessary pre-requisite for a contract could be made at all: ‘Reliance is placed on Milner v Staffordshire Congregational Union (Inc) [1956] Ch 275 where it was held that it was unlawful for charity trustees to enter into a contract of sale under the Charity Trusts Amendment Act 1855, section 29, without the prior approval of the Charity Commissioners. In my judgment, that case is clearly distinguishable from the present case. Section 29 of the 1855 Act expressly makes any sale by charity trustees–that is, any contract for sale–unlawful unless it is made with the approval of the commissioners. The power to contract is conditional upon prior approval. The requirement of clause 4 of the 1962 scheme in the present case is quite different. By that clause the governing body is authorised to sell property comprised in the scheme but any sale – ie, any contract for sale – is required to be conditional upon ministerial approval of the price being obtained. The power to complete a sale is conditional upon prior approval, but not the power to contract. The fact that ministerial approval was not obtained until 18 November 1964, does not, in my judgment, invalidate the contract, if any, made on 15 September.’


Buckley J


[1970] 1 WLR 241, [1969] 3 All ER 1593


Endowed Schools Acts 1869

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Ireland CACD 14-May-1996
Silent telephone calls which resulted in psychiatric damage to the victim could constitute an ‘assault occasioning actual bodily harm’ for the purposes of section 47 of the 1861 Act. Swinton Thomas LJ said: ‘The early cases pre-date the invention of . .
CitedBayoumi v Women’s Total Abstinence Union Ltd and Another CA 5-Nov-2003
A charity entered into a contract for the sale of land. It failed to comply with the requirements under the Act. The purchaser assigned the benefit of the contract, to the claimant who sought to enforce the contract.
Held: The section only . .
CitedHaslemere Estates Ltd v Baker 1982
A contract for the sale of land by a charity was expressed to be subject to and conditional upon the grant of a consent before 31 March 1982 and if consent was not granted before that date then the contract was to be ‘null and void and of no further . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Education, Land

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.235556