Following intense lobbying from English UK and others in the education and travel industries, we are very pleased to see that work is well under way to allow French school groups to enter the UK on ID Cards. This follows the joint declaration between Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron in March this year where France and the UK promised to work together to 'ease the travel of school trips.
Read the Financial Times article published on Thursday 2 November 2023: UK to ease post-Brexit travel rules for French school trips
'Government insiders confirmed rules to be introduced in the coming months will allow children coming on school trips from France to use national identity cards, while rules requiring non-EU citizens to obtain a visa to travel with their classmates will be dropped.'
The article goes on to state that the revised rules could be extended to other EU member states if 'successfully trialled'.
It is particularly good to note that third country nationals travelling from France in school groups will not need visas, just passports – this will make it much easier for the whole group to travel without anyone left behind and means that significantly more of these trips will now happen.
Jodie Gray, English UK chief executive commented:
'It is very good news that the government has listened to English UK and others who have been pushing for a solution for school groups from France and other EU countries. The abolition of ID Card entry and the List of Travellers' scheme has had a strongly negative impact on the school group mini-stay market in particular. We urge the government to implement this scheme as soon as it can and to extend it to other EU countries. The goodwill this will create will be incalculable.'
Find out more about our campaigning for UK ELT