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Education

Education sessions for schools

We deliver education sessions to over 22,000 Scottish pupils every year – in the Scottish Parliament, by visiting your school, or online.

Our sessions:

  • are designed to develop the principles of democracy and citizenship 
  • are in line with A Curriculum for Excellence and SQA Examinations
  • contribute to political literacy aims

All education sessions and resources are free of charge. We do not offer travel expenses if you are coming to the Parliament. 

These sessions are mainly aimed at Scottish schools, suitable for students at Curriculum for Excellence Level 2 to Advanced Higher who are studying the Scottish Parliament. We also offer sessions for college and university students.

The education content of our sessions is substantially the same across internal visits, online and external visits programmes. Please do not book the same classes on more than one programme, as the content will duplicate.

You may book different classes from the same school on different programmes – for example, booking a visit for your National 5 class and a digital session for a Higher class.

More information on our different types of education sessions is available below.

Visits to the Parliament

Booking an education session at the Scottish Parliament

Bookings for September 2022 to December 2022 are now open by email. Please do not try to book by phone.

First Minister's Questions for schools

First Minister's Questions (FMQs) education sessions take place on Thursdays from 11.00 – 13.15. Part of this session includes watching the full 45-minutes of FMQs.

FMQs sessions are recommended for National 5 and Higher Modern Studies, and other certificated politics-based courses, as the content is most aligned to the curriculum at this stage. Requests from these groups will be prioritised.

Other year groups may apply but are most likely to be offered sessions in term 3 (April to June).

Please note: FMQs sessions are limited. You can only book one FMQs session per school per academic term. Each session is limited to 40 individuals (including accompanying adults). This is an upper limit and cannot be increased.

We cannot guarantee that you will be successful in securing an FMQs slot. It would be advisable to note alternative preferences so we can offer an alternative session booking.

If FMQs is your ONLY choice, please note that in your booking request. We will hold you on a waiting list and advise you if any dates become available.

Standard school visits

Our standard school visits run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There are currently two sessions a day:

  • 11am to 12.30pm – session with tour, including a stop at the Debating Chamber
  • 1.30pm to 3pm – session with chamber business

Each session is limited to 40 individuals (including accompanying adults). This is an upper limit and cannot be increased.

Please note, the content of questions or debates during chamber business may be distressing and not suitable for primary level pupils. We will advise when business is announced if the content or topic is unsuitable for your group.

Digital sessions online

Join an online education session

Our online sessions are suitable for P5-7, S1-3 / BGE (not subject specific) and for Nat 4/5 and Higher Modern Studies.

Sessions are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and last 45 minutes.

If you know what times you are looking for, please note it in your booking. Please specify period start and end times for secondary classes.

We would ask that you book separate sessions for different classes, as that enables better discussion and interactivity. If that is not possible, and you require multiple classes or a single larger group, please note that in your booking information.

Visits to your school

Bookings for this service will open in the new term.

About our education sessions

What's covered in our education sessions

The education aims and outcomes of our sessions are substantially the same across our internal visits to parliament, digital and external visits to schools programmes.

Primary

Suitable for CfE level 2 / P5, 6 and 7

  • An introduction to your Scottish Parliament
  • Decision making for Scotland
  • What Parliament does
  • Who represents me & having my voice heard

Secondary

BGE / Citizenship

Suitable for S1-3 or general citizenship learning

  • Get involved!
  • Decision making for Scotland
  • The purpose of Parliament
  • Who represents me & having my voice heard
National 5 Modern Studies

A session focussing on how the Scottish Parliament holds the Scottish Government to account through FMQs, using illustrative video clips. It covers:

  • Representation of the people of Scotland
  • Distinction between Parliament and Government
  • Parliamentary scrutiny of the Scottish Government and First Minister
Higher Modern Studies

A session focussing on the Parliamentary Committees and their work, particularly their role in legislative scrutiny, using illustrative video clips. It covers:

  • Representation of the people of Scotland
  • Distinction between Parliament and Government
  • The importance of Parliamentary Committees - how they inform themselves & hold the Government to account

FMQs sessions (visits only)

The FMQs session will include the relevant content for your class, as above, plus a section setting context for watching FMQs.

Additional information

If your group does not match these curriculum levels, let us know and we will discuss specific requirements closer to the time of your session.

Non-Scottish schools from UK and Ireland

We recommend that non-Scottish schools from UK request a digital session for education content, and contact Visitor Services if you are looking to arrange a visit to the Scottish Parliament. We do not have content tailored to non-Scottish curriculums.

Non-Scottish schools from outside UK and Ireland

Please contact Visitor Services if you are looking to arrange a visit to the Scottish Parliament.

Other options for visiting the Scottish Parliament

You can also visit the Scottish Parliament independently, for tours or to watch business in the Debating Chamber or Committees through Visitor Services, or by contacting your MSPs.

Enquiries

If you are not making a booking today, but have a query or would like more information about our sessions or resources, please email us at [email protected].

Cancellation policy

If we need to cancel

In case of staff absences, we may need to cancel depending on the impact on our staffing levels.

We will always try our best to make sure your visit goes ahead. This may mean we have to make changes to the advertised programme.

If we need to cancel, we will give you as much notice of this as possible.

If you need to cancel

If you need to cancel or want to rearrange your visit, please give us as much notice as possible.

If your visit is cancelled (by you or by us), we will try to rearrange an alternative date for either an in person visit in Holyrood, an outward session at your school, or a digital session.

As we are a working Parliament, the use of the building for Parliamentary business takes precedence over all education bookings and we reserve the right to relocate, postpone or cancel the education session when required by Parliamentary business.

Request a booking

Request a booking

If you would like to request a booking, please fill in the booking form.

Please note, our bookings are processed in order of receipt. We will let you know if you have been successful, or to offer other options.  Please ensure you include as much information as possible so we can process your booking without delay.

Select from the options below to enter booking details

Visits to the Scottish Parliament

Digital session