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 020 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 Sackler 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 020 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 020 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

  • Ahead of your visit, if anyone in your group (staff or students) or anyone in their household has COVID-19 symptoms, or has recently been in contact. with someone who has COVID-19, we ask that you please postpone your visit to the museum. Please read more about staying safe during your visit.
  • 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.

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.

For advice on Coronavirus when travelling on the London Network, please see the Transport for London page.

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 Sackler Centre for Arts Education
  • 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

  • Our Sackler Learning Centre remains closed and therefore we will not be able to provide your school group with locker or cloakroom facilities. Please do not bring large bags or with you as these are not permitted in the galleries. Small bags are permitted and may be searched on arrival. Please keep your bags with you at all times in the interest of safety and security
  • Our toilets are open throughout the building and are regularly cleaned throughout the day
  • At present, the lunchroom facilities are not in use, but packed lunches can be eaten in the John Madejski Garden. We recommend either planning a shorter visit, or making alternative arrangements for lunch. Consuming food in the galleries is strictly forbidden.

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: 020 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