Parliament Education Service
Photos of Parliament Education Service
What will students see and do?
On a visit to the Palace of Westminster in London, school groups can discover the historical and present-day processes of the House of Lords and House of Commons.
As they tour these iconic buildings, students will experience the UK’s seat of power up close, while interactive workshops introduce those of different ages to the workings of the government.
The tour lasts 90 minutes, with the visit extending to over two hours when a workshop is added. As well as catering to students of all ages, activities can be adapted to children with special educational needs.
For visits arranged for Monday to Thursday, your local MP will be invited to meet the group and take part in a question-and-answer session, though it’s not guaranteed that they will be available.
After your visit, students can enjoy their packed lunches in the nearby Victoria Tower Gardens. For history trips, you’re also well positioned to explore other sights in central London.
For those unable to travel to Westminster, it’s possible to arrange a live online workshop instead, delivered by a member of staff from UK Parliament. Alternatively, why not book a live Q&A with a member of the House of Lords?
Teaching resources provided
Free teaching resources are available for visitors, or to download from the website.
For pupils aged 5–7, an illustrated book describes a visit to Parliament and what takes place there.
For students between 7–11, the education pack introduces the people who work in the houses of Commons and Lords. Interactive activities also describe laws, elections and how to be involved in Parliament.
The post-16 workbook covers electoral systems, UK constitution, democracy and how to campaign.
Minimum and maximum group size
The minimum group size is 12 visitors, including adults. The maximum size for tours and workshops is 32 students. For larger groups, the visit will be split across different time slots.
For pupils aged 5–7, the required adult-to-child ratio is one adult per seven children. For pupils aged 7–18, the ratio is one adult per 15 children.
Details of risk assessment
The Parliament Education Service team are available to help with risk assessments and paperwork. Upon arrival, all visitors are subject to security checks and are briefed on health and safety and expected behaviour.
Don't miss our downloadable A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment
Much of the site is wheelchair accessible, although the tour may need to take a different route. The team are happy to discuss any mobility access needs your group might have.
The gift shop is not available to school groups, although souvenirs can be pre-ordered and given to the lead teacher to distribute.
School tours operate Monday to Friday and are subject to business and events in parliament. Sessions typically take place between the hours of 9am and 3pm.
All activities arranged through the Parliament Education Service are free to attend.
Although there are some drop-off points at UK Parliament, it’s advisable to arrive by public transport, as parking nearby is scarce.
The nearest overground rail stations are Charing Cross, Victoria and Waterloo, which are all within a 30-minute walk.
The education centre is a short walk from Westminster underground station, which is connected to the Circle, District and Jubilee lines.
There are also a number of public bus services stopping nearby. There are travel subsidies available for school visits from certain areas.
Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London, London
Book your school trip to Parliament Education Service
For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.