Information for teachers

Guidance Notes for Teachers

FAQs for teachers

How do I book? 
How far ahead should I book?
How much will it cost? 
Why does the Cathedral charge for educational visits? 
What support materials are available?
Where can we eat lunch?
Parking and where to go on arrival
Do we need to bring anything with us?
What is expected of teachers?

How do I book?

All school visits must be booked into the Cathedral diary via the Education Department. Contact Pam Elliott, the Education Officer, to negotiate a date for your visit and discuss your requirements. Please note that the Education Officer is available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays to book and lead educational visits.

The best way to contact the Department is via email. The Education Officer responds to all emails as soon as possible, if you do not get a reply within a week, your email may not have made it past our spam filter! In this case, or if your request is urgent, please telephone Pam directly on 0161 817 4814.

Visit requests are taken to the Cathedral diary meeting on Wednesday mornings for approval. The Cathedral hosts a large number of events annually and we regret that it is not always possible to accommodate group visits. Please do not book coaches or make any other arrangements until you have received written confirmation of your booking from the Education Officer. Self guided visits are
possible on Thursdays and Fridays - these must also be booked in via the Education Department.

When planning your visit, please be aware that Holy Communion takes place each weekday between 1.10 and 1.40. Group visits during this time are discouraged, unless you wish to attend the service.

The Dean and Chapter reserve the right to vary arrangements at the Cathedral and we apologise if any parts of the cathedral are inaccessible at the time of your visit.

In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to cancel a school booking at short notice. The Dean and Chapter cannot be held liable for the cost of transport or any other costs which may have been incurred as part of the visit thus cancelled. In these circumstances, the Education Department will offer an alternative date and free workshop as a good will gesture.

How far ahead should I book?

Please book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. For an increasing number of schools, a Cathedral visit has become essential in helping to deliver aspects of the curriculum, and dates are regularly booked up to a year in advance. We regret that we are unable to accept bookings less than two weeks in advance.

How much will it cost?


Educational Group Visit Rates 2011


Trails (60 minutes each) - £2 per pupil
Workshops (30-40 minutes each) - £2 per pupil
Short, self guided visit (up to 60 minutes) - £1 per pupil.  By negotiation
Longer, self guided visit - £1 per pupil.  By negotiation

FULL DAY VISITS (Usually 1000-1300, followed by lunch)
Extended trail, and 2 workshop - £5 per pupil - saving of £1+
Cathedral Experience Days / Super Learning Days
Programmed activity days - suitable for larger groups / multiple schools, comprising of a special themed trail and at least 3 workshop sessions. - £6 per pupil - saving of £2+

MULTI SITE VISITS (Usually 1000-1400)
Sacred Neighbours / Place of Peace (joint visits between the Cathedral and Manchester Buddhist Centre for KS2-5) - £6 per pupil
Shared Story (joint visit between the Cathedral and Manchester Jewish Museum, available for all Key Stages) - £5 per pupil

Please Note

  • Free places are provided for all accompanying adults.
  • For full day visits, a lunch room (when available) is provided free of charge.
  • We do not require payment in advance. You may pay on arrival or within 30 days of the visit y cash or cheque. All cheques should be made payable to Manchester Cathedral. We are able to accept BACS payments - please contact the Education Officer for our details.
  • In order to cover our basic costs, a minimum group charge is applied to small groups. 12 students is our minimum group number; you may bring fewer pupils, and will be invoiced for the value of 12 students.  (14 is the minimum for Sacred Neighbours).
  • Cancellation policy - if a booking is cancelled with less than 15 working days (i.e. 3 weeks) notice, the Cathedral Education Department reserves the right to charge for 40% of the total visit cost.
  • We do not wish to preclude any group from experiencing everything that a visit to the Cathedral has to offer. If you anticipate any difficulties then please contact the Cathedral Education Officer to discuss available options.

Why does the Cathedral charge for educational visits?

The Cathedral costs over £2800 per day to maintain and there is no subsidy from national or local government. To ensure that this valuable historic and spiritual building remains available for all, we make a charge to groups and ask for a voluntary donation from individuals who are visiting the Cathedral for any purpose other than worship. The money raised from Educational Visits is put towards the salary of the Education Officer and covers the costs of educational equipment and resources for schools and families.

What support materials are available?

We recommend that you prepare your pupils carefully for their visit to make sure they get the most out of it.

There are a number of educational resource materials which are in the process of being prepared and updated and will be uploaded to the Resources area of the website.

If you intend to bring support materials that you have prepared, it would be helpful if the Education Department could have a copy in advance.

Where can we eat lunch?

Weather permitting, packed lunches can be eaten on the grassed areas around the Cathedral. In the case of inclement weather, and subject to availability, a lunch room in the Cathedral is available for up to 35 pupils. This facility is offered free of charge to groups who book day visits. Please keep the lunch room tidy for other users.

What other facilities are available?

There are toilet facilities available in the Cathedral and in the Cathedral Centre.

We regret that there is no longer a multimedia learning exhibition at the Cathedral and that for the time-being we do not have a Cathedral shop.

On arrival, where do we park?

There are no parking facilities at the Cathedral. Coaches can pull onto the pavement on Victoria Street, by the Cathedral West doors, for the purpose of allowing pupils to alight and board. There is an NCP car park on Victoria Street, directly opposite the Cathedral.

Where do we come on arrival?

Come to the Welcome Desk, near to the Cathedral South Porch, where you will be met by the Education Officer. You will then be shown where you can leave bags and coats. Please ensure that you arrive promptly. If you are running late please telephone and let us know: call 0161 833 2220 (Cathedral Office Team) or 0161 817 4814 (Pam’s direct phone).

Do we need to bring anything with us?

Generally no, although this will depend on the nature of the Trail that you have planned beforehand. We do recommend that secondary school pupils bring a notepad and pen!

Photography is permitted inside the Cathedral and we suggest bringing a camera to capture key elements of your visit as an aide memoire for pupils back in the classroom.

What is expected of teachers?

Teachers should discuss their learning aims and objectives for the visit with the Education Officer. They should also advice her of any special needs within the group that Cathedral staff should be made aware of.

Teachers and helpers should stay with their group at all times and experience the Trails and Workshops alongside their pupils. Unless it has been planned otherwise, they will not necessarily be expected to give any input to these sessions; although extra pairs of hands during practical workshops are always welcome! Please ensure that your pupils understand the need for quiet in a place of worship.

At all times during the visit, teachers (and helpers) will, of course, be responsible for the control and supervision of their group. We ask that all schools provide a ratio of at least 1 adult: 10 children or the statutory ratio, if this gives a higher proportion of adults. No pupils are to be left unsupervised in any area at any time. Please ensure accompanying adults are fully briefed prior to the visit.

Small groups of children with special needs are welcome and disabled facilities are available. Such visits are not subject to the minimum group charge.

To assess the quality of the visit we ask that all teachers complete an evaluation form after their visit. We also select a sample number of children to complete children’s evaluation forms. Teacher evaluation forms can be downloaded from the Cathedral website.


What about risk assessment? 

Guidance for completing Risk Assessments is available below and to download from the website; please note that this is not a substitute for a full risk assessment which should be completed by the teacher leading the visit.

We recommend that you prepare for your trip by pre-visiting the Cathedral.  The Education Officer leads free preliminary visits for teachers, each month on Wednesday afternoons between 3.30pm and 4.30pm; please ask for details.