About Representation and Voting tour and workshopPlease note that this visit is available to UK schools and groups 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)
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 or group'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
Autumn term 2019
Online Bookings are now closed and the team will be busy allocating visits from 8 May 2019. This usually takes between 2-4 weeks to complete. Please note that we do not operate on a first come first served basis and all applications will be randomised before allocation begins.
Additional dates in the summer term 2019 can be found on our short notice visits page.
Open to: UK children only up to a group size of 36, including adults and students.
Before you visit
Visit our school and group visit information page to find out all you need to know before visiting the UK Parliament.
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.