Schools hospitality

The department receives a special appropriation to provide modest hospitality to school groups visiting Parliament House. School visits are coordinated by the Serjeant-at-Arms’ Office, working in partnership with the Parliamentary Education Office (PEO) and the Visitor Experience Office of DPS.

In 2017–18 the administered appropriation for the schools hospitality program activity was $0.320 million, and expenditure was $0.313 million. Results against performance criteria are summarised in the annual performance statement (page 26).

Performance summary

In 2017–18, 119,088 school students participated in educational tours of Parliament House, up from 117,582 in the previous year. The number of students from New South Wales and Western Australia decreased, while all other states and territories recorded higher numbers than in the previous financial year (see Table 8).

Table 8: Students visiting Parliament House, by location and year, 2012–13 to 2017–18

Year ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA Other Total

2012–13

1,657

67,955

881

16,395

4,742

1,471

17,245

5,064

241

115,651

2013–14

1,859

62,597

835

18,193

5,390

1,581

17,766

5,488

113,709

2014–15

2,158

67,385

819

19,489

5,061

1,750

18,531

5,023

120,216

2015–16

3,004

64,438

654

16,056

5,849

1,621

18,950

5,159

13

115,744

2016–17

2,783

65,653

686

15,828

5,610

1,683

19,971

5,440

117,654

2017–18

3,030

64,366

788

17,131

5,896

1,942

20,810

5,125

119,088

All visiting students participated in a guided tour and visited both chambers; 81 per cent (96,979) received hospitality and 75 per cent (89,259) participated in the PEO program (see pages 45–47 for more information on the PEO’s activities).

Improving performance

Bookings continue to be taken on a rolling monthly basis for the next two calendar years. This process has brought our booking schedule into line with the schedules of other designated agencies on the visits program, and it continues to be well received.

The online availability calendar and new booking form with a ‘submit’ option was placed onto the ‘Organise a school visit’ page on the Parliament of Australia website. This means that schools and agents can readily view availability of school programs at Parliament House before making a booking. In conjunction with the PEO, the school visits section of the website was further updated to make it easier for users to access information and make bookings.

Outlook

By 30 June 2018 120,205 students from 1,848 schools had been booked for the following 12 months. Last year at the same time 112,383 students from 1,703 schools had been booked.

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