e-PD - which stands for ‘enabling Professional Development’ - is the operating name of e-PD Trust, a non-profit company limited by guarantee registered with Companies House (company no. 07685913) with specific objects under the broad banner of the ‘advancement of education’.
e-PD is a social enterprise incorporated on 28 June 2011 with a moral purpose to promote self-improvement among schools. The venture is based on the principle of schools working for and with each other to grow collaborative capital and harness the benefits of effective inter-school partnerships. It was initiated with the backing of the Primary/Special and Secondary Heads’ Executives and the local authority in West Sussex, in the context of the National Education
Reform programme and retrenchment of the County’s Learning Service due to austerity measures.
e-PD was reconstituted in April 2014 as a non-charitable, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The charitable tenet of the advancement of education remains the high-level goal of e-PD but it was recognised that the focus on subscribing institutions, rather than the whole school community, would probably fail the public benefit test for full charity status. Furthermore, a charity has a duty to keep all funds in ‘trust’ for its beneficiaries, whereas the internal system of ‘credits’ operated by e-PD gives subscribers the opportunity to ‘bank’ their funds with e-PD and spend credits or make withdrawals against their account at any time, by converting credits to cash.