|Screenshot of Russian Embassy Web Page Warning|
Chiefly among the problematic areas of concern listed by the embassy were; "The children were placed in inappropriate housing conditions experienced maltreatment in families living, some were denied food. There have been cases of removal of the child from school due to minor violations of the daily routine, there are examples of placement of children in the families of homosexuals."
Diana Lowe, executive director of the Accreditation Body for Language Services, with which some of the schools in question are registered to run the programmes told the Telegraph newspaper:
“We receive very few complaints. It’s fine for the Russian embassy to warn parents but I would urge them to take up these complaints with the schools in question and the accrediting body, if they haven’t done so already.”
On the question of children staying with gay parents, Ms Lowe told the paper: “It’s a delicate question. People who place students should be culturally aware and they should inform the student of the profile of the family. But there’s nothing wrong with a gay couple per se, and some of them are among the kindest hosts.”
Homosexuality and paedophilia are often conflated in Russia with a majority of Russians expressing disapproval of equality rights for LGBTQ citizens. Legislation recently passed by several Russian Regions and cities including St Petersburg banning "promotion of homosexuality," is being decried and challenged by LGBTQ advocacy groups.
The summer sessions are offered by Russian agencies working in partnership with the schools. A typical course of study costs the families around $3,200 per month which includes boarding costs.
The Russian middle class wages have grown making these types of programmes increasingly accessible for middle class Russian families seeking an educational activity for their children over the three-month summer break.
The Telegraph notes that the UK has a strong reputation for "culture, quaint tradition and academic excellence in Russia and wealthier Russians also send many children for year-round private education at British boarding schools."
An official with the British Embassy in Washington told LGBTQNation that persons who apply for a study visa in the UK whom are non-EU citizens must apply to a school that is inspected and passed by the government Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills,(Ofsted) or registered with one of four accrediting bodies, including the British Council's Accreditation UK and the Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS).
A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in London declined to comment.