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School visits transport subsidy

Groups of young people making education visits to Parliament from UK constituencies may be eligible for a transport subsidy.

School visits transport subsidy

Who is eligible?

Groups of young people making Education Visits to Parliament from UK constituencies may be eligible for a transport subsidy to help with the cost of travel to and from London.

To be eligible for a transport subsidy a visiting group must meet the following conditions:

  • An eligible group may make one transport subsidy application per financial year (1 April – 31 March)
  • The group must be making an education visit to Parliament. This is classed as a visit booked through Parliament's Education and Engagement team or a tour booked by the school's MP through the Tours Office. Both must be delivered by a guide trained by the Engagement and Engagement team.
  • The group must be visiting from a constituency within Band B or C of the Transport Subsidy Bands (Schools can check which band they fall into here). The size of the subsidy available depends of the distance travelled. Check who your school's MP is
  • The group type should be on those listed in List A in Appendix A (includes further education colleges)
  • The group must be made up of young people between the ages of 7 and 18, as set out in the terms and conditions for education visits. The school or group co-ordinator will be asked to confirm the age range of the group on the subsidy claim form
  • Eligibility for a subsidy does not confer any additional rights or priority.

Terms and conditions

The visit must follow the standard programme as set out by the Education team. If a group wishes to leave early, and not complete its booked Education Visit, it will be ineligible to claim for a transport subsidy.

An eligible group may apply for a transport subsidy towards the reasonable, actual travel costs (e.g., train or coach fare) which it incurred in travelling to and from London for its Education Visit to Parliament.

Actual travel costs are the amount of money paid, after any applicable discounts, refunds or other reductions, for the sole purpose of the group's return travel from a band B or C constituency to Parliament.

Actual travel costs do not include, and no subsidy is available for, individual journeys to reach the group at the start of the trip or at any other point, refreshments, accommodation or journeys within London for any purpose other than the education visit.

The education visit to Parliament must be the primary purpose of the trip. While groups may choose to take part in other activities during the trip, travel costs which relate to those activities will not be subsidised and must not be included in the claim.

An education visit to Parliament must be booked through the UK Parliament's Education team in accordance with the terms and conditions of these services. Visits which are eligible for a subsidy remain subject to those terms and conditions at all times.

Level of Subsidy

The level of subsidy will be determined by the Transport Subsidy Band into which the school falls. The allocation of constituencies, and therefore schools, to Transport Subsidy Bands in non-negotiable. Schools can see which band they fall into here.

The level of subsidy in each band is as follows:

  • Band B: 50% of receipted travel costs, up to a maximum claim value of £800
  • Band C: 75% of receipted travel costs, up to a maximum claim value of £1600

Applying for a subsidy

Upon booking an Education Visit, eligible groups will receive confirmation of their booking and a subsidy claim form. This form is automatically generated based upon the eligibility of the visiting group.

Payment of a subsidy will only be made after the trip has taken place and after the scheme administrator has received:

  • A properly completed claim form from the group
  • Original receipts or invoices for actual travel costs incurred by the group. Credit card receipts should be accompanied by proof of details of travel, such as tickets or invoices.
  • Confirmation from the Education team that the education visit took place

These documents must be received no later than 60 days after the education visit.

It is the group's responsibility to claim the subsidy and to provide all necessary paperwork within the time limit. The Education team accepts no responsibility to remind groups of this requirement.

Cancellations

If the Education team cancels a confirmed booking after costs have been incurred with a travel provider and the group is unable to obtain a refund, the group may claim a subsidy for those costs. The group will need to provide evidence that they have been unsuccessful in obtaining a refund. Please contact (the transport subsidy officer) on 0207 219 4496 or engage@parliament.uk to discuss further.

In this instance only, a group wishing to arrange an alternative date to visit Parliament within the same financial year may make a second transport subsidy claim.

If a group chooses voluntarily not to obtain a refund, but to continue with its trip to London without undertaking an education visit to Parliament as part of that trip, it may not claim a subsidy for its travel costs.

No subsidy will be paid for a visit cancelled for any other reason.