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Select committee experience FAQs

Select committee experience FAQs

What is the maximum number of students I can bring?
Each experience we offer has a published capacity. Each Select Committee timeslot has a capacity of 60 (to include students and teachers). The Select Committee Experience is a shared experience so you should expect to interact with groups of young people from other organisations. 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.

What is the minimum number per group?
The minimum group size is 5 students plus no more than 2 accompanying adults. As mentioned above the Select Committee Experience is a shared experience so you should expect to interact with groups of young people from other organisations.

Who does this experience cater for?
Bookings are open to sixth form groups studying A-Level Government & Politics, ages 16-18. Unfortunately, we cannot offer places to groups older than Year 13 because of the limited number of places available which are always over-subscribed or to students studying subjects other than Government & Politics

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

Does the experience include a tour?
Yes, please see information on the page above.

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 72194496 and indicate when you expect to arrive. The visit will still finish at the published time but we will adapt the programme to include as much as possible within the time slot. Unfortunately, we are unable to be flexible with end times.

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.

Do we need to contact our MP in advance?
We do not invite your local MP to meet with you as part of this experience. You may wish to contact your MP’s office to let them know you are visiting Parliament. However, please be aware that any arrangements you make to meet fall strictly outside the Education Programme and we are unable to accommodate meetings within the timescales of your visit. Please let us know if you do arrange to meet with your MP after your programme has concluded, as we may have to make special security arrangements.

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 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.