Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Special Educational Needs (SEN)
  • Parliament's Education Service welcomes all schools to Parliament - contact us for visits tailored to your pupils' specific needs.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs 

We believe that every pupil has a democratic entitlement to visit their Parliament and welcome many pupils with different needs to Parliament. These needs might include:

  • English as an Additional Language
  • Autism
  • Sensory impairment
  • Behavioural, Social and Emotional Difficulties
  • Mobility issues, including wheelchair users

We welcome both individual needs supported within a mainstream class setting and whole classes with SEN.

Visit Adjustments

Through discussions with the Education staff who will deliver your visit, we work to make the visit suitable for the pupils in your class. We aim to provide an accessible and enjoyable experience of Parliament.

Some possible visit adjustments:

  • Pitch/content of workshop
  • Length of tour and/or workshop
  • Additional comfort breaks
  • Use of the hoist toilet
  • Lift access in the Palace
  • Tactile tour elements
  • Hearing loop

Assistance dogs are welcome here at Parliament too.

Planning your visit

When you book your visit to Parliament on one of our bookings' days, please explain any Special Educational Needs that your group has. Prior to your visit:

  • A member of the Education staff will phone and/or email you approximately two weeks beforehand to discuss any specific adjustments that may be needed.
  • A downloadable 'Visit Story' with teacher's notes is available (see below) for the relevant programme your group is taking part in, to share with pupils ahead of a visit. 

Downloadable Visit Stories

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.

Your visit will have some variances depending on which tour or tour/workshop combination you book.  As such, there are four downloadable 'Visit Story' PowerPoints and accompanying teacher notes:




Testimonial - St Francis' School, Lincoln

"Your team being available to answer questions is fantastic. Meeting the needs of students with a range of cognitive needs is great; the age range of the group I brought on the last visit was 16-19 years old, cognitive ability P8 – Level 2.

Accessing the building has been a challenge in the past, especially for the autistic students.  However, this time entering through the Education Centre entrance was great: a quieter, slower process and we had time to explain what was happening etc. We used the PowerPoint [Visit Story] before we went to help reassure students about security procedures and I sent it home to help the more autistic students understand procedures.

Explaining about comfort breaks and the availability of a 'Changing Places' style facility is outstanding and very rare…As a regular visitor of your service, you have adapted every visit to meet the needs of our groups I've brought down from Lincoln. The key to every visit is a link person/guide who has spoken to me before the visit and we then plan what would meet the needs of this group. Many of our students have never visited London, so for them to visit such an iconic place and to feel so important is exceptional."


Yvonne Robinson - St Francis' School, Lincoln

Parliamentary Education Centre

The Parliamentary Education Centre offers:

  • Level access throughout the Centre
  • Wide access double doors
  • Wheelchair accesible toilet
  • Medical room that can be used for medical or changing needs
  • Welcoming, understanding staff

Tour/tour and workshop programmes

We have a variety of exciting, interactive tours and workshops, or stand-alone tours which provide a slightly shorter visit. Our workshops use a range of artefacts, videos and interactive quizzes to explore the processes and history found here at Parliament. Each of our workshops is designed to support curriculum, study, but can be tailored to the needs of particular groups.

How to book

Bookings for the majority of our programmes are taken on our bookings' days.

We are currently booking for:

Summer term 2016 for visits between Monday 11 April-Wednesday 20 July 2016 (excluding Monday 2 May, Monday 23-Wednesday 25 May and Monday 30 May-Wednesday 8 June) are now fully booked.
.On the day please call 0207 219 4496.  Lines open at 8:30am. Requests will only be taken via telephone, not e-mail.

Please note that Parliament's Education Service programmes are extremely popular and fill up quickly.

Before calling us on bookings day, please read our information for bookings day

Please mention any SEN information/requests on bookings day that you feel would be useful for us to know, and if you require a follow up phone call.  You should receive a call approximately two weeks before your visit, but if you haven't received a call by the week before your visit and you would like to discuss SEN requirements, do give us a call on 0207 219 4496.

Information to help you plan a safe visit

Information to help you plan a safe visit


pdf file - 193 KB

Map of the Parliamentary estate

Map of the Parliamentary estate


pdf file - 449 KB

Transport Subsidy

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