MPs are encouraging private schools to improve their vetting of prospective Russian parents, to avoid inadvertently taking “dirty money” from people linked to the Kremlin, the ipaper reports.
Last week, Nickie Aiken, MP for Cities of London and Westminster, asked the Prime Minister to consider sending home the children of Russians linked to Putin in the UK, although the PM said children should not be punished for their parents’ actions.
Speaking to i, Ms Aiken said: “There are many law-abiding decent Russian people who send their children to our country for school. It’s not them. It’s about those specifically attached to Putin.”
She said the Government had to target the “international lifestyles” of oligarchs, which included sending their children to top UK schools.
Robert Halfon, Conservative chair of the Commons Education Select Committee, said that he was “very cautious” about expelling children from the country because of the “disruptive effect to that child’s life”.
However, he added: “Clearly the private schools should do their own due diligence before they accept any of these pupils.”
Andrew Lewer, MP, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Independent Education, told the i he was “supportive of the increasingly tough stance” towards Russia but said it was for Government, not headteachers, to act over any possible expulsions.
Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, said that pupils’ welfare and education were schools’ primary concern and said her organisation worked with the Home Office and other agencies to encourage vigilance against illicit wealth.