Parliament's Education Service arranges visits for approximately 45,000 school students every year. School visits to Parliament typically consist of an educational tour of the Palace of Westminster, a choice of interactive workshop and, subject to parliamentary business, an opportunity for Leo to have a question and answer session with the group.
All visits start with a tour of the Palace of Westminster. Depending on sitting times, the tour can include the House of Commons, House of Lords and Westminster Hall. The tour reflects the national curriculum and focuses on the role of Parliament as a legislative body, rather than the building itself. Pupils learn about the characteristics of each of the three parts of Parliament – House of Commons, House of Lords, Monarch – and discuss the difference between government and Parliament. They also find out about the passage of a bill through both Houses and have the chance to ask questions about how Parliament works.
There is a choice of interactive workshop, with variations depending on the ages of the group, such as:
- Elections and Voting - this session focuses on the general election process and may involve creating manifestos, interactive elections, consideration of different voting systems, their effect on political parties and how a strong government is delivered.
- Making Laws - this session focuses on the passage of a Bill through Parliament and may involve coming up with ideas for new laws, imitating the process of passing their chosen bill, simulating debates and votes as well as the White and Green paper consultation stages.
- Your Voice - this session looks at different levels of representation in the UK and may include an interactive quiz, looking at how different levels of government deal with decisions and considering campaigning techniques and their effectiveness.
Leo will tell your group a little about his work as Member of Parliament, both in Westminster and the Aldershot Constituency, and then hold a question and answer session. He will make every effort to meet with all groups visiting Parliament, although this isn't always possible.
Your school may be entitled to a transport subsidy of between 50%-75% to help reduce the costs of travel to and from London. This, however, only applies to visits booked through Parliament's Education Service (including Member Tours for Schools delivered by one of the trained guides).
If you need more information, or would like to book your educational visit, please contact the Parliamentary Education Centre.