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School tour FAQs

School tour FAQs

What is the maximum number of students I can bring?
Each experience has a published capacity. Each slot for Schools’ Tour of Parliament has a capacity for 20 people maximum (to include students and teachers). If you would like to bring more students than a timeslot can accommodate you will need to book multiple timeslots and bring at least one adult per nineteen students in each of them. There should be no more than 5 adults in each timeslot. Bookings are limited to 5 School Tour or Introduction to Parliament time slots for a total of 100 people to include staff and students.

What is the minimum number per group?
The minimum group size is 5 students plus no more than 2 accompanying adults.

What ages do you cater for?
Bookings are open to school Years 3-13, ages 7-18, including sixth form colleges. Unfortunately, we cannot offer places to groups older than Year 13 because of the limited number of places available which are always over-subscribed.

Can we bring a group of university/PGCE/adult students?
University and adult groups should contact our Parliamentary Outreach team on 020 7219
1650 or your local MP who can apply for a tour permit. Find the name of your local MP. PGCE students should contact the Education Outreach team

Where do we need to come to?
Details of where you need to arrive are printed on your confirmation paperwork and these can
change term by term. Even if you have been on a visit to Parliament before - please check your paperwork so that you know which entrance to come to, if you are still unsure please call us on 020 72194496.

What happens if we are late?
Please telephone our bookings line as soon as possible on 020 7219 4496 and indicate when you expect to arrive. We will try to adapt the programme to include as much as possible within the time slot. Unfortunately, we are not always able to be flexible with end times of the Schools’ Tours due to the popularity of the programme and the business of the House.

Can we eat our lunch in Parliament?
We do not have the facilities for students to eat their lunches. The Palace of Westminster is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site and a working building; we do not have the flexibility other visitor attractions may have to take over space for this purpose. If the weather allows you may wish to eat lunch in nearby St James' Park. Alternatively, there are a range of cafes and restaurants nearby and a cafeteria in Westminster Hall where food can be purchased.

Is there parking available?
There is a drop off point on Abingdon Street for the Parliamentary Education Centre, immediately outside the Victoria Tower Gardens.

Coaches are respectfully asked NOT to stop at the bus stop outside Victoria Tower Gardens before the zebra crossing. Instead, coaches can proceed further down Abingdon Street, where they may drop off and pick up on the left hand side before the second zebra crossing. School groups can then access Victoria Tower Gardens from the gated entrances and proceed to the Education Centre.

 

There is also a drop-off and pick-up point further away from the Education Centre outside Portcullis House on Victoria Embankment. Coach parking is NOT available but there are a limited number of coach parking bays in Westminster, available on an hourly tariff. For more information see www.westminster.gov.uk/coach-parking. Specific information for coach drivers is available on the TFL website: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/coach-drivers/

Is there provision for groups with special educational needs?
We welcome visits from groups with SEN. Please contact our team to discuss your specific
requirements.

Is the Palace of Westminster accessible to wheelchair users?
Yes it is, although at some points along the tour an alternative route is taken. Please let us
know of any wheelchair users or mobility needs in advance of the visit so that we can ensure a smooth running visit. There are appropriate toilet facilities for wheelchair users in all buildings and along the visitor route.

Can we take photographs?
It may be possible for teachers to take photographs on certain parts of the visit. Please check
with your guide on arrival.

Do we need to contact our MP in advance?
We will contact your MP’s office to make them aware of your visit. Please contact their
office directly if you would like to try to arrange a meeting with your MP on the day, although this may not always be possible if your MP is unavailable due to other commitments.

Do you have information to help us to prepare in advance for our visit?
Visit the Teach section of Parliament's Education Service website for lesson plans, videos, games and printed resources.