About Representation and Voting tour and workshopPlease note that this visit is available to UK schools only
This programme starts with a tour of the Palace of Westminster.Parliament is a working building and access to different parts of the Palace of Westminster, as part of your tour, will vary due to Parliamentary business.
Age 7-11: Years 3-6 (England and Wales) Y4-Y7 (Northern Ireland) P3-P7 (Scotland)
Pupils will take part in a general election where they will experience what it is like to be a candidate and voter. The concept of the constituency is defined and explained before pupils are divided into competing political parties to create their own manifestos. Each pledge they make has a financial cost inviting pupils to consider how they will balance attractive manifesto pledges against the amount their constituents would be willing to pay.
Once each party has presented its manifesto to the group, we hold our election using a real ballot box. The successful candidates from each constituency form the ‘House of Commons’ and the difference between Parliament and Government is reinforced.
Age 12-16: Years 7-11 (England and Wales) Y8-Y12 (Northern Ireland) S1-S4 (Scotland)
Pupils will take part in a general election where they will experience what it is like to be a candidate and voter. The concept of the constituency is defined and explained before pupils are divided into competing political parties to create their own manifestos. Through discussion in their parties they will decide upon manifesto promises to make to the electorate. They will be asked to consider, how as the Government, they would pay for these promises.
In their parties, the pupils will then participate in hustings where their ideas and promises are presented to the rest of the group. Following this, the election is held as pupils are asked to place their vote in the Polling Station. The successful candidates from each constituency are announced and form the ‘House of Commons’. The difference between Parliament and Government is reinforced as we discover how the Government is formed after the election.
Age 16-18: Years 12-13 (England and Wales) Y13-Y14 (Northern Ireland) S5-S6 (Scotland) All visits
Pupils are invited to explore democratic representation in the UK and consider whether different voting systems accurately reflect the views of the people and the advantages and disadvantages of some of the systems used in elections across the UK.
The pupils compete as political parties and design a two pledge manifesto before putting it to the test at the imaginary polls. The votes are counted using Proportional and Majoritarian principles and results are analysed to assess how effectively the people are being represented. Through an interactive discussion and role play students will practice their analysis and speaking skills as they consider how Parliament could further increase democratic participation now and in the future.
For this programme, your school's constituency MP will be informed of your visit and they will be invited along to meet your pupils and answer their questions. This is subject to the MP’s availability in Westminster at the time of your visit.
How to book
Open to: UK pupils only up to a group size of 32, including adults and students.
Parliament's Education Team 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 on our Short Notice Bookings page.
Have a look at our school visit FAQs for more information.
We welcome visits from groups with SEND, including groups from Pupil Referral Units. Please contact our team to discuss your specific requirements and adaptations you may need. We also have an SEND Quiet Day once a term for SEND school groups. Parliament has a hoist toilet, please let us know in advance if you would require access to this.
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.
Information to help you plan a safe visit
Map of the Parliamentary estate
Tours with workshop FAQs