Legislation was laid in the UK’s Parliament on Thursday 7 December, which will allow French children to use ID cards instead of passports when travelling on an organised school trip from France to the UK.
This follows the UK-France Summit in Paris on March 10, at which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Macron agreed to ease the travel of school trips to the UK from France, as part of a wide range of commitments between our two countries. France also committed to ensuring appropriate mechanisms are in place for visa-free travel for children travelling on organised school trips from the United Kingdom and to facilitating the passage of those groups through the border.
Speaking on the day this news was announced, British Ambassador to France, Dame Menna Rawlings said:
“My first-ever overseas trip was on a school exchange to France when I was 13 years old. With France, it was love at first sight, and the start of a life-long adventure of travel and exploring different languages and cultures. So I’m delighted that we are easing the travel of school groups to the UK in line with mutual commitments made at the March Summit between our Prime Minister and President Macron. This will help to refresh our people-to-people links, which are the beating heart of UK-France relations and our renewed Entente.”
The new rules will come into force from 28 December 2023 and will apply to people aged 18 or under, studying at a school or educational institution in France registered with the French Ministry of Education and seeking to enter the UK as part of a school party of 5 or more pupils organised by that school or institution.
Visa national children who are part of these groups will also not need to obtain a visa prior to travel.