Private Schools Look For Answers On Whether To Collect Money From Russian Parents

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As sanctions take effect, private schools have asked the government for clarification on whether they may collect school money from some Russian parents.

Over 2,000 Russian children attend private schools in the United Kingdom, with the majority of them situated in London and the South-East.

The Independent Schools Council has warned its members not to accept fees from sanctioned Russian banks or people.

However, one school source indicated that attempts to get answers from ministers on what to do with the “stuck in the middle” students had yielded no results.

Meanwhile, private schools are on “high alert” for strange contributions, and Russian students are receiving additional help in case they are bullied.

Robin Fletcher, chief executive of the Boarding Schools’ Association, said: “Our schools continue to provide excellent pastoral care and support for over 24,000 students from across the world, including Russia, Ukraine and surrounding areas. We are communicating with the Government to get clarity on areas such as visas, travel arrangements and sanctions.”

Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, said: “The priority for all schools is the safety, well-being and education of their pupils. Sanctions imposed on individuals and Russian banks mean schools must not accept payments of fees from these sources. They are encouraged to remain on high alert over suspicious payments and expected to raise suspicious activity reports if they have any concerns over the provenance of the money they are receiving.”

If private school payments are not paid for a particular amount of time — generally 14 days — the parents’ contract with the school might be terminated, and the kid will be forced to leave.

Ms Robinson went on to say that schools do background checks and investigate the sources of funding.

She said: “Associations representing independent schools work with government agencies to encourage vigilance against suspicious fee payments and ensure reporting is carried out as required, and the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association provides guidance verified by legal experts.”

Heads are focussing on safeguarding, according to a representative for the HMC network of private schools, since kids with family in the region are “terrified.”