The group that is representing Britain’s private schools has told its members not to take fees from Russian students amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The Independent Schools Council (ISC), a lobby group that acts on behalf of more than 1,300 private schools, warned its members that they might face serious legal issues if they accept amounts from any person or entity that the UK government has sanctioned.
ISC chief executive Julie Robinson said: “Sanctions currently imposed on individuals and Russian banks mean schools must not accept payments of fees from any of these sources.”
The announcement came after the UK government sanctioned five Russian banks and more than 100 Russian individuals, after ruling that Russian nationals will be banned from holding sums of more than £50,000 in any UK bank account.
The sanctions mean that many Russian parents may find themselves unable to pay tuition fees, which in some cases now cost more than £50,000 a year.
There were 2,327 Russian students studying at the UK’s private schools in 2021, according to figures from the ISC.
The UK’s top private schools have become increasingly reliant on global students in recent decades.
The group, which represents some of Britain’s most prestigious schools, including UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s school, Eton College, said its members should be “on high alert” over any doubtful payments. It said schools should report anything suspicious to the authorities.
The UK PM Boris Johnson is in favour of Ukraine and is criticising Russia for carrying out an unprovoked attack. Recently, the PM tweeted, “To the people of Ukraine: Slava Ukraine.” He further wrote, “To the people of Russia: I do not believe this war is in your name. This crisis, this tragedy, can and must come to an end because the world needs a free and sovereign Ukraine.