Tougher post-Brexit rules ‘a big blow’ for Shoreham language school
The director of an English language school in Shoreham is calling on people to sign a petition that asks the government to allow European school visits with only ID cards.
Jackie Verrall, director of English Language Homestays in Old Fort Road, said European school children would always come into the UK with ID cards, but from October, they will need a full passport, as part of tougher post-Brexit entry requirements.
“Some parents won’t pay this as they don’t need it to travel around the rest of Europe,” said Jackie.
“Schools are now thinking they don’t need this hassle and are targeting Ireland and Malta for ease.
“This is a big blow for companies like mine.”
She added that last year, due to covid, 132 coaches were wiped off her booking schedule. Each coach takes 50 passengers.
“We need to make the deficit up, but with these passport demands coming in – it will be hard,” continued Jackie.
“We have got through the worst of course and are marching forward – but this is another nail in an already half closed coffin.
“Our industry is a stealth income among local communities – 95 per cent of our income is ploughed back into the local area.”
Shoreham host family Jenny and John Crump have had students stay with them for almost 33 years.
The retired couple, who are in their 70s, have gone from four students a week to zero – and have lost around £4,000 income since the pandemic struck. And they are now worried about these tougher post-Brexit rules, which could affect them further.
“I have really missed the company – I just love having the kids around,” said Jenny, a former dinner lady and childminder.
“It gave me something to think about. I have felt very down and I am fed up with being bored.
“And the money was handy. It meant we could go out and do things or do work on the house.
“We used to get such lovely feedback from parents and we would get letters from the children. They would always ask to come back to us.”
The petition needs 10,000 signatures for a response. To sign, visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/587749.