What is the maximum number of students I can bring? What is the minimum number per group?
Tours with workshop sessions have a published capacity of 32 people including accompanying adults, which must include 1 member of staff per 15 students. If you would like to bring more students than a timeslot can accommodate you will need to book multiple timeslots and bring at least 1 adult per 15 students in each of them. Bookings are limited to 3 tours with workshop time slots in a term for a total of 96 people to include teachers and staff.
The minimum group size is 5 students plus no more than 2 accompanying adults. Groups which do not fill the full capacity of a timeslot will, wherever possible, be combined with another small group in the same session in order to maximise use of places available.
What ages do you cater for?
Bookings are open to school Years 3-13, ages 7-18, including sixth form colleges. Unfortunately, we cannot offer places to groups older than Year 13 because of the limited number of places available which are always over-subscribed.
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. Citizenship PGCE students should contact the Education Outreach team
What happens if we are late?
Please telephone our bookings line as soon as possible on 020 7219 4496 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 due to the popularity of the programme.
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.
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?
There is no need for you to contact your MP directly. We will contact your MP in advance of your visit to Parliament and invite them to meet your group - although please be aware that in roughly 40% of our visits the constituency MP is unavailable due to other commitments.
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.