Following suggestions that schools may have, in the past, received funds from sources that have subsequently been linked to illicit activity, Mike Buchanan, Chief Executive of HMC, said:
“HMC takes the issue of illicit funds extremely seriously and our members would never knowingly accept such money. However, schools exist to educate children and we are not experts in detecting signs of international crime.
“Schools are acutely aware of their duties to help uncover illicit wealth. The sector has worked hard with the Home Office to ensure that guidelines have tightened up in line with current legislation, and every school now has an updated procedure to help them check the provenance of funds. For example, it is not uncommon for parents to gain good rates by paying fees in advance, but if such a payment come from an unusual source, or at a surprising time of year, this would now attract scrutiny.
“We remain reliant on the authorities to provide us with as much information as possible about suspicious activities, companies and individuals.”