We’re experts in delivering support and advice to independent schools, with a number of clients throughout Scotland. We understand the unique challenges that these schools face, and support them so that they can continue their missions to educate the next generation.

Tailored support to suit your school

Consultancy and one-off advice: our expert team will advise on your one-off projects, such as the VAT position of new capital projects, capital planning and sources of funding, and scenario planning and forecasting to help you prepare for future challenges.

Long-term accountancy support: we process fees and payments for a number of independent schools, and are also able to offer long-term outsourcing of payroll and pension schemes administration services. We also operate as an outsourced finance department, producing termly accounts and reports.

Internal and external audit: our Audit department works with a number of schools; we also have a dedicated internal audit team who provide risk advisory, systems testing, special investigations and governance training.

‘I was privileged to have a Managing or Senior Partner of Chiene + Tait as Finance Director during my time at St George’s School for Girls, and learned so much when I was in post. Their constant advice enabled me not simply to make the right operational decisions, but also to put in place strategic development plans that really worked: a ten-year Campus Development Plan, for instance, completed on time and on budget; strategic plans which transformed the curriculum and allowed the school to face the inevitable problems along the way: such as the financial crisis of 2007-2008.’

Judith McClure CBE – Former Headteacher, St George’s School for Girls

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Because we tailor support to each client, no two of our projects are exactly the same. Get in touch with us and see how we can help with your question.

To get you started, here’s a flavour of some of the things we’ve recently done for schools.

Fees: payments and processing

We help one school by providing a complete outsourced finance function. We take and process fees, respond to parent queries, and manage the accounts – including reporting to governors.

Clarifying the taxes on a capital project

We provided guidance, advice and administrative services for a school constructing new buildings on their land. We advised on what tax and VAT rates were applicable, what they meant for the building’s uses, helped to complete paperwork, and other key points that affected the project’s affordability.

Governance support 

We train and advise governors on their key statutory duties and how to comply with regulations.

Be the bursar

Chiene + Tait representatives act as bursar for certain schools.

Charities guidance

Our specialist Charities Group advise independent schools on regulations, reserves, requirements, best practice and new sector updates.

Anything else on schools?

Please contact us if you have a question, and we’d be happy to help.

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Our team

Jeremy Chittleburgh, our Senior Partner, is a longstanding expert in the sector and has held bursar and trustee positions for several independent schools. He is supported by our Charities Group, who have specialist experience in tax, VAT, audit and business support.