Scottish Parliament

As the aftermath of the EU referendum result continues and with potentially another Scottish independence referendum around the corner, politics in Scotland (and the rest of the UK) is the topic of conversation for many.

For Scottish students an insight into the country’s Parliament in central Edinburgh can help bring an understanding on topics such as law-making and voting and help them join the conversation.  

Available for Upper Key Stage 2 and above, the Scottish Parliament Education Visit Programme lets students discover more about the work of the Scottish Parliament through a range of activity choices and a tour.


Explore the Scottish Parliament: Students will learn about the history of the Scottish Parliament, looking back from 1235 to today. They will learn about key figures and their roles, including their local MSPs, and discover the different types of decisions made by the Scottish Parliament.

The session will involve group work and object handling.

Voting: This session looks at the importance of voting in a democratic society. Pupils will be asked to consider why some people don’t vote, whether this matters and ways in which more people could be encouraged to vote.

To finish the session off, pupils will be asked to take part in a vote themselves, deciding whether voting in elections should be compulsory.

Getting Involved: Pupils will consider what the Scottish Parliament does and will be asked to think about what changes they would like to see in Scotland.

Through an understanding of devolved and reserved matters, students will then be able to discuss the best way to get their ideas listened to.

Making Laws: This role-play activity will see students tackle current issues being considered by Parliament. Working in groups they will be challenged to consider proposed changes and to find solutions, and will use a mock Bill to learn how amendments can be made and laws passed.

The activity include the use of interactive voting and decision making.

Finding out about MSPs

As part of a visit to the Scottish Parliament, student will also learn about the MSPs who represent their school. Where possible this will involve meeting with them, this, however is not guaranteed. Teachers are advised that MSPs often work in their constituencies and regions on Mondays and Fridays rather than at Parliament and therefore it is less likely for a meeting to be arranged if visiting on these days.


Booking for an Education Visit between September and December 2016 is now open. Schools should contact 0131-348 5401 to arrange the visit.


A range of resources are available on the Scottish Parliament’s website including online games, audio resources and downloadable work booklets. 

For more information e-mail or visit