Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
We believe that every pupil has a democratic entitlement to visit their Parliament and welcome many pupils with different needs to Parliament. These needs might include:
- English as an Additional Language
- Sensory impairment
- Behavioural, Social and Emotional Difficulties
- Mobility issues, including wheelchair users
We welcome both individual needs supported within a mainstream class setting and whole classes with SEND.
This page will help you:
- Choose the best visit programme for your school
- Find out what adjustments can be made for your visit
- Book your visit
- Prepare for your visit in school (including downloadable resources)
Choosing your Visit programme
We have a variety of exciting, interactive tours and workshops, or stand-alone tours which provide a slightly shorter visit. Our workshops use a range of artefacts, videos and interactive quizzes to explore the processes and history found here at Parliament. Each of our workshops is designed to support curriculum study, but can be tailored to the particular needs of students.
For SEND groups we would recommend one of the following options:
- Story of Parliament Tour
- Laws and Debating Tour and Workshop
- Representation and Voting Key Stage 2/3 Tour and Workshop (This can be delivered at an age appropriate level, but provides students with experience of what voting in a local or general election is like and why we do this.)
Through discussions with the Education staff who will deliver your visit, we work to make the visit suitable for the pupils in your class. We aim to provide an accessible and enjoyable experience of Parliament.
Some possible visit adjustments include:
- Pitch/content of workshop
- Length of tour and/or workshop
- Additional comfort breaks
- Use of the hoist toilet
- Lift access in the Palace
- Tactile tour elements
- Hearing loop
Assistance dogs are welcome here at Parliament too.
If you are unsure or concerned about the nature of your visit, or changes that may be needed for your group, do call the Education Service on 0207 219 4496
Booking your Visit
Parliament’s Education Service reserves the right to cancel visits at short notice due to changes in Parliamentary Business. On the rare occasions where this is necessary, we will offer to re-book your visit.
You can check what availability we have for Summer term 2017 on our Short Notice Bookings page and for Autumn Term please check our Autumn availability page and call us on 020 7219 4496.
Before your Visit
If you have let us know about specific SEND needs and requested a call back, a member of the Education staff will phone and/or email you approximately two weeks beforehand to discuss any specific adjustments that may be needed.
The downloadable slides below are designed to be used in pre-teaching vocabulary to students, to familiarise them with words they may hear on their visit to Parliament.
They can also be used as posters for class displays
Vocabulary Support (ages 7-14)
Vocabulary Support (ages 14-18)
A downloadable 'Visit Story' with teacher's notes is available (see below) for the relevant programme your group is taking part in, to share with pupils ahead of a visit.
Downloadable Visit Stories
If you think your pupils may be anxious about their visit, you can go through the visit with them before the trip, in class, with our downloadable visit story.
Your visit will have some variances depending on which tour or tour/workshop combination you book. As such, there are four downloadable 'Visit Story' PowerPoints and accompanying teacher notes:
Tour and Workshop (including Laws and Debating, Representation and Voting, Campaigning and Parliament)
Story of Parliament Tour
People's Parliament Tour and Workshop
Testimonial - St Francis' School, Lincoln
"Your team being available to answer questions is fantastic. Meeting the needs of students with a range of cognitive needs is great; the age range of the group I brought on the last visit was 16-19 years old, cognitive ability P8 – Level 2.
Accessing the building has been a challenge in the past, especially for the autistic students. However, this time entering through the Education Centre entrance was great: a quieter, slower process and we had time to explain what was happening etc. We used the PowerPoint [Visit Story] before we went to help reassure students about security procedures and I sent it home to help the more autistic students understand procedures.
Explaining about comfort breaks and the availability of a 'Changing Places' style facility is outstanding and very rare…As a regular visitor of your service, you have adapted every visit to meet the needs of our groups I've brought down from Lincoln. The key to every visit is a link person/guide who has spoken to me before the visit and we then plan what would meet the needs of this group. Many of our students have never visited London, so for them to visit such an iconic place and to feel so important is exceptional."
Yvonne Robinson - St Francis' School, Lincoln (Making Laws Tour and Workshop)
Parliamentary Education Centre
The Parliamentary Education Centre offers:
- Level access throughout the Centre
- Wide access double doors
- Wheelchair accessible toilet
- Medical room that can be used for medical or changing needs
- Welcoming, understanding staff
Information to help you plan a safe visit
Map of the Parliamentary estate