Who is eligible?

Groups of young people making education visits (for the purpose of this document referred to as ‘groups’ throughout) to the UK Parliament from UK constituencies may be eligible for a travel subsidy to help support the cost of travel to and from the UK Parliament.

Level of Subsidy

The level of subsidy will be determined by the travel subsidy band into which the group falls. The allocation of constituencies to travel subsidy bands are set by the Administration Committee and are non-negotiable. Find out what my travel subsidy band is.

The level of subsidy in each band is as follows:

  • Band A: Not eligible
  • Band B: 50% of receipted travel costs, up to a maximum claim of £1,000
  • Band C: 75% of receipted travel costs, up to a maximum claim of £2,000

Eligibility criteria

1) Groups must be booked on one of the following activities:

  • Visit booked via UK Parliament’s Education and Engagement Team
  • School tour booked via Democratic Access Tours office by your school’s local MP N.B. Informal tours delivered directly by MPs, Members of the House of Lords or their staff are not eligible.

2) Groups must be from a state-funded or other eligible institution (see Appendix A below). An eligible group may apply for a travel subsidy towards the reasonable, actual travel costs (e.g., train or coach fare) which it incurred in travelling to and from London for its education visit to the UK Parliament. We expect that groups arriving in London by train or by plane will use public transport to get to the Houses of Parliament. If this is not possible or if this is not the most cost-effective method of transport, please explain why when you send us your claim. If you would like to speak to us in advance of booking your trip, please contact us at engage@parliament.uk.

3) Groups that make use of their own minibus/coach within travel subsidy bands B and C may claim a mileage allowance of 45p per mile. This will be calculated as a return journey from the group’s postcode to the destination via the shortest possible route. This amount will then be subject to the same restrictions and caps for the appropriate travel subsidy band.

4) Groups must be visiting from a constituency within Band B or C of the Travel Subsidy bands.

5) Groups must not have made a claim for subsidy for a visit in the current financial year (1 April – 31 March)

6) The group must consist of young people between the ages of 5 and 18, as set out in the Education Visits terms and conditions for School Education Visits and for Home School Education Visits.

7) In exceptional circumstances with prior agreement, we will accept bookings from third party organisations arranging visits on behalf of schools. These will be subject to the same annual caps as schools booking directly with the Education and Engagement Team – maximum 108 people per term per organisation. Travel subsidy claim forms must be completed, signed and returned by the school and payment will be made directly to the school. Travel subsidy and booking information for these groups will be made directly to the schools that the third-party organisation is booking on behalf of.


Terms and conditions

1) Visits will not be eligible for subsidy where groups request to finish a session early. Please ensure when booking, that you select a visit type which will allow you to attend the whole session.

2) An eligible group may apply for a travel subsidy towards the reasonable, actual travel costs (e.g., train or coach fare) which it incurred in travelling to and from London for its Education Visit to UK Parliament.

3) Actual travel costs are the amount of money paid, after any applicable discounts, refunds or other reductions, for the sole purpose of the group’s return travel from a band B or C constituency to UK Parliament.

Actual travel costs do not include, and no subsidy is available for, individual journeys to reach the group at the start of the trip (or at any other point), refreshments, accommodation, or journeys within London for any purpose other than the education

4) An education visit to the UK Parliament must be the primary purpose of the group’s trip. While groups may choose to take part in other activities during the trip, travel costs which relate to those activities will not be subsidised and must not be included in the claim.

5) Travel subsidy is only available for a maximum of 5 adults per booked session for school groups. For Home Education groups participating in a regular tour and workshop programme travel subsidy will be available for 1 adult per household. For Home Education groups participating in the Home Education Specialist Day travel subsidy will be available for up to 2 adults per household (where more adults are travelling due to SEND or accessibility requirements this will be assessed on a case-by- case basis).

6) An Education Visit must be booked directly through the UK Parliament or local MP’s office in accordance with the terms and conditions of these services. Visits which are eligible for a subsidy, remain subject to those terms and conditions, always.

7) You must submit your travel subsidy claim to us within 60 days of your Education Visit.

8) Eligibility for a subsidy does not confer any additional rights or priority.

9) A travel subsidy claim can be made for one visit date per financial year. Travel subsidy can be claimed for multiple bookings/groups visiting on the same day (maximum amount of bookings per school is 3 sessions per term). Multiple bookings/groups visiting on different days cannot claim for all dates that have been booked. A claim for one of the dates travelled can be submitted. E.G – if you are booked in for a visit on 1st and 2nd of February, you can only claim for one of those dates and not both. You can choose which date you’d like to claim for.


Claiming a subsidy

Upon booking an Education Visit, eligible groups will receive email confirmation of their booking(s). Prior to your visit a separate email with the link to the travel subsidy claim form will be sent to you if your group is eligible for travel subsidy. The travel subsidy email will contain a link to an online subsidy claim form to be completed after your visit. The lead contact should complete and return the signed travel subsidy claim form electronically via a school email address to engage@parliament.uk. Youth groups and charities must also send the travel subsidy claim form electronically via an official email address where possible. If not possible, it must come from the group leader with clear evidence it’s for that group e.g. official email signature.

If you have multiple visit sessions booked on the same day, you will be asked to provide the main booking reference number along with reference numbers for any other sessions.

To comply with our legal financial obligations, auditors carry out regular checks on the transport subsidy scheme. UK Parliament therefore retains the right to request, and be provided with, receipted evidence supporting all claims before and after payment has been authorised. It is therefore mandatory that schools retain all information and receipts related to any subsidy claim in line with UK statutory guidelines (6 financial years + current year).

All receipted evidence must be safely stored in the school filing system before a subsidy claim form is submitted to UK Parliament. Retained evidence must show the number of people traveling and transport costs per person. This can take the form of original receipts (such as itemised credit card bills, emailed receipts, and ticket stubs) or original itemised company invoices for travel costs incurred by the group.

If it is found through the evidence review process, that a school has historically mis-claimed the subsidy (for any reason), then a repayment to UK Parliament will be immediately due.

Payment of a subsidy will only be made following the scheme administrator receiving a fully completed claim form from the group, internal confirmation that the visit took place in full and after any requested evidence has been received and verified (if applicable). Failure to provide required documentation within the time frames set will result in claims being refused.

Compliments, Complaints and Comments

If you wish to contact us with feedback regarding the process of applying for Travel Subsidy, please visit the UK Parliament “Compliments, Complaints and Comments” web pages