Schools and colleges: visit guidelines

Before you visit

Planning what to see

  • Over seven miles of inspiring galleries are waiting for you. Explore using our interactive map, and take a look at our teachers' resources online to help you organise your visit.
  • Please note: galleries are occasionally closed at short notice. Please check our visit page or call us on +44 (0)20 7942 2000 near the time of your visit.

Booking a visit

In order to book a visit, you must complete a self-guided booking request form.

  • All school visits, including self-guided, must be pre-booked. Three weeks' notice is required for visits. This is to ensure the safety of all our visitors, and to enable you and your students to have the best possible experience while visiting us.
  • The museum is open Monday – Sunday. We only offer school visits Monday – Friday (excluding bank holidays and school holidays).
  • We have arrival 6 timeslots per day at: 10.00, 10.30, 11.00, 11.30, 12.00 and 13.00. There is room for up to 90 people (students and staff) per time slot. Maximum two schools per timeslot.
  • In order to book a visit, you must complete a self-guided booking request form. A member of our Contact Centre team will be in touch to confirm your booking. We will email your ticket to you, and you will need to show it on a device, or printed out, when you arrive. On arrival, please check-in at the Learning Centre desk. Our friendly team will be able to assist you with lockers and check your booking. Please note, we do not accept third-party provider bookings.

Changes and cancellations

  • Please call +44 (0)20 7942 2000 as soon as possible if you need to change or cancel your visit, or if you anticipate being late for your time slot.

Adult/student ratios

Adult supervision is required at all times with the following adult-to-student ratios:

  • Foundation Stage: one adult per three students.
  • Key Stage 1 and 2: one adult per six students.
  • Key Stage 3, 4, and 5: one adult per fifteen students.

Please note, students are not permitted in the galleries unaccompanied.

All teachers and accompanying adults are responsible for student supervision during your visit, and must remain with the group at all times.

Teachers are the lead supervisor for their group and must ensure that students behave in a way that minimises the likelihood of accidents or damage.

Access

  • If anyone in your group has any additional access needs and requires assistance, please let us know at the time of booking.
  • Please see our disability and access page, or call us on +44 (0)20 7942 2000 for full information about access at the V&A.

Risk assessment

  • You should carry out your own risk assessment before you visit, and bring it with you on the day. See our health and safety information for more guidance.
  • A copy of our risk assessment is available on request, to assist with creating your own risk assessment. Please contact our team at schools@vam.ac.uk

Staying safe at the museum

  • To enable you and your students to have the best possible and safest visit with us, we advise dividing your larger group into smaller sub-groups to move around the museum. Please ensure each smaller group still meets our adult-to-student ratios outlined above.
  • Please refer to our staying safe guidelines during your visit

On the day of your visit

How to reach the V&A

Our address is:

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Schools in the Greater London Area can apply for free public transport when making visits to museums within the GLA area.

Please check the latest government guidance in advance of your visit.

Arriving at the V&A

  • Please enter the museum via the Blavatnik Entrance on Exhibition Road. This entrance is step-free and wheelchair accessible.
  • You will find signs directing you to the Learning Centre
  • Our interactive map is available to help you with wayfinding
  • Please note, groups will not be able to return to the museum once they have left.
  • In the interest of visitor safety, our Security team may carry out bag searches at the entrances to the museum.

Facilities for schools and colleges

  • There are lunchroom facilities in our Learning Centre. When booking your school's self-guided visit, a lunchroom slot will be automatically allocated according to your arrival time. Please let the team at the Learning Centre desk know if you do not wish to use your lunch slot, as this can be freed up for another group.
  • Arrival 10.00 – lunchroom slot at 11.30
  • Arrival 10.30 – lunchroom slot at 12.00
  • Arrival 11.00 – lunchroom slot at 12.30
  • Arrival 11.30 – lunchroom slot at 13.00
  • Arrival 12.00 - lunchroom slot at 13.30
  • Arrival 13.00 - no lunchroom slot (afternoon only)
  • It may be possible to use the John Madejski Garden for a packed lunch if the weather permits. Consuming food in the galleries is strictly forbidden.
  • Locker facilities are available in the Learning Centre and will be assigned to your group when checking in at the reception desk.
  • There are toilets located in the Centre that are regularly cleaned throughout the day.

Exhibition admission

  • School groups can visit our exhibitions at a discounted rate. To book and find out more, please call our Contact Centre Team on +44 (0)20 7942 2000 and an advisor will be able to process your request.

Conduct

  • Teachers are responsible for students' behaviour and safety at all times. Please remind your group not to touch objects, shout or run while at the V&A.
  • You are welcome to draw in any gallery. For temporary exhibitions, please check signage or ask a member of staff. Please only use dry materials – for example coloured or graphite pencils. Materials must be encased in a box or bag.

Contact us

If you have any questions before you visit, please email our Learning Co-ordinator – Schools and Colleges at: schools@vam.ac.uk or call: +44 (0)20 7942 2000.

Background image: Design of interlocking oval shapes containing geometrical forms, drawing, by Jacob Dimoldenberg, about 1930. Museum no. E.1694-1989. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London