Laws and debating tour and workshop

Laws and debating tour and workshop
A tour and workshop looking at how the UK Parliament makes laws and the part debating plays in the legislation process.

About Laws and debating tour and workshop

Please 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.

Your visit might include:

  • The House of Commons or House of Lords chambers
  • A visit to the public gallery to observe the MPs or Lords working
  • Westminster Hall, the last remaining part of the original Palace
  • Central Lobby, at the very heart of the Parliamentary Estate

Years 3-6 (England and Wales) Y4-Y7 (Northern Ireland) P3-P7 (Scotland) - age 7-11:

The focus of this workshop is how Parliament makes laws. Pupils come up with ideas for bills to present to Parliament and simulate the process of passing one of these bills into law through active role play. The group participates in debates and votes along the way, and learns about the role of the Commons, the Lords and the monarch in making a law.

Years 7-11 (England and Wales) Y8-Y12 (Northern Ireland) S1-S4 (Scotland) - age 12-16:

Debating is the chosen method of discussion at the heart of Parliament and plays a major part in the law making process. After your Palace of Westminster tour, which may include watching part of a debate in one of the chambers, your workshop will focus on how Parliament makes laws. Through the course of the workshop, pupils consider how the public, MPs, Peers and the monarch shape our laws. In particular, the workshop will focus on the debate stage in the making of a law. By participating in video analysis, pupils will draw out successful debating techniques while learning about Parliament's particular styles of discussion. They will then have the chance to put this into practice as they debate their own idea for a law.

Years 12-13 (England and Wales) Y13-Y14 (Northern Ireland) S5-S6 (Scotland) - age 16-18:

The focus of this workshop is how Parliament makes laws. Through the course of the workshop, pupils consider how the public, MPs, Peers and the Monarch shape our laws and evaluate the role played by Parliamentary processes, including the Committee stage.


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.


Visiting times and information

Open to: UK pupils age 7-18 (Year 3-13 England & Wales, P4-Year 14 Northern Ireland and Primary 3-Secondary 6 Scotland)

Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Dates: Mondays- Fridays for details, see How to Book info below.

First tours/workshops 9:30-11:45

Last tours/workshops 15:15-17:30

Running throughout the day every 30-45 minutes

Places per session: 32 (to include pupils and adults)

Please ensure that you have the minimum adult:pupil ratio of 1:15 for (age 7-18), for safe supervision around the estate.

Due to high demand for our programmes, we ask for a minimum group size of 5 pupils and no more than 2 accompanying adults. If you are booking for under 15 people in total (including adults), please be aware that we may combine your group with another of the same age in order to share to visit.

However, we welcome pupils with SEN - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

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.

How to book

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 on our Short Notice Bookings  page.



Information to help you plan a safe visit

Information to help you plan a safe visit


pdf file - 200 KB

Map of the Parliamentary estate

Map of the Parliamentary estate


pdf file - 449 KB

Tours with workshop FAQs

Tours with workshop FAQs


Related teaching resources


From Bill to law


How laws are made: video


Acts of Parliament Quiz - whiteboard resource


Get Debating

Related articles

This article provides a useful overview - from origin to Act - of the process of making UK laws.

Read more

State schools planning to visit Parliament may be eligible to have their travel costs subsidised under this scheme.