ISC response to report in The Times about missing Vietnamese children

Posted on: 04 Nov 2019
Posted by: Julie Robinson

Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, responds to an article in The Times, (November 4, 2019) 'Gangs targeting private schools to traffic Asian girls to Britain, it is revealed'.

Julie Robinson, ISC chief executive, said: "Schools take the welfare of children very seriously and view safeguarding and child protection as the top priority issue. Schools do everything they can to ensure children are safe and secure in their care.

“Our schools uphold the high standards set by the Home Office for being an immigration sponsor. A small number of criminals have sought to exploit the immigration system and the ISC has issued guidance to members advising extreme caution and vigilance when recruiting from Vietnam. In these instances, schools would follow proper procedures, reporting to the Home Office and police and working with all agencies to track down and secure the welfare of the pupils involved.

“As a sector we work in conjunction with Home Office officials to ensure the visa system is not exploited by criminals and immediately report any suspicion of foul play.

“We strongly condemn the trafficking of young people to the UK including via applications to member schools. To our knowledge these are relatively isolated incidents involving a small number of students from one country but every single child should be kept safe.”