Bookings for educational visits to Parliament Buildings are open for the 2022-2023 academic year. You may also book a virtual education session, delivered via MS Teams. To find out more or to book a visit, please contact us.
We provide programmes for primary and secondary school groups, youth groups and university groups. The schools visits programme is designed to support the Northern Ireland Curriculum and subject specifications in the areas of Citizenship/Learning for Life and Work, Government and Politics, and History. On request, we can tailor a programme to suit students of other subjects, for example, Geography and Economics.
We also offer special programmes for School Councils, Eco-councils and Rights Respecting Schools.
What to expect from your visit
Your programme will be delivered by one of our Education Officers. It will involve:
- an interactive presentation on the Northern Ireland Assembly; and
- a tour of Parliament Buildings, including a visit to the Public Gallery on sitting days (subject to available seating).
It may also include one or more of the following, depending your group’s needs:
- a mock election or law making activity;
- a visit to the Assembly Chamber (Wed to Fri);
- a Q & A session with MLAs; or
- an address by a member of Assembly staff, for example a Committee Clerk.
How long does a visit last?
Primary and Key Stage 3 & 4 programmes last for 1.5 hours and may be booked to begin at 10.00 am or 10.30 am (11 am on Mondays to allow visit to Public Gallery at 12 midday).
We have designed the School Visits Programme to support the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Visit the Teachers’ section for curriculum links.
How do I book a visit?
There are two ways to book an educational visit:
- Contact us at the Education Service. We will arrange a visit for you.
- Ask any MLA to sponsor your visit. Tell them you want to visit Parliament Buildings as part of the Education Programme and they will contact us. You can get in touch with MLAs through their offices in Parliament Buildings or their constituency offices. For details please contact us.
Please note that, with suitable advance notice, we can provide the Education Programme in Irish. Please mention this requirement when booking.
What can I do to prepare for a visit?
- read the relevant section of the website (age-specific)
- use the resources and activities here on our website;
- find out who your MLAs are;
- think about and discuss the issues that concern you and the group;
- watch the news and read newspapers for stories about the Assembly; and
- if your visit involves meeting an MLA, prepare questions about the work of an MLA and issues that interest you.
Why not extend your visit?
The Department of Finance, which runs the Stormont Estate public park has created a series of adventure trails which showcase the rich biodiversity of the woodlands and give visitors a brief history of the Estate.
Each trail should take about half an hour to complete and can be navigated using a trail map. The maps can be downloaded here or we can supply them when you take part in our education programme.
Adventure awaits, go find it!
Further information can be obtained by contacting Stormont Estate Management Unit on telephone number 028 90378103 or alternatively email StormontEMU@finance-ni.gov.uk
You can also extend your visit to Parliament Buildings with an orienteering challenge.
How do we get there?
The video below explains what first time visitors can expect to see during their visit to Parliament Buildings and includes information about:
- accessing the estate
- parking and security arrangements
- public tours and
- facilities within Parliament Buildings and Stormont Estate.
Autism and the Assembly
The Assembly has the Autism Accreditation Award. Please let us know if anyone in your group requires extra assistance when visiting Parliament Buildings.
Autism Champions can provide assistance before, during and after a visit to Parliament Buildings.
Watch the ‘Visiting’ video above to know visitors can expect when visiting Parliament Buildings and the Stormont Estate and the ‘Access to Parliament Buildings’ video.
Watch this video to find out what to expect from an educational visit to Parliament Buildings: