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Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Here you’ll find all the information and resources you need to help plan and make the most of your visit.

Resources, activities and visits

All of the resources developed for our programmes are created with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in mind.

Anything with text is editable so that educators can adapt font, size, colour or content to suit their group.  Pupils with SEND are welcome at all activities. Contact us to discuss any adjustments or requirements you may have.


You can go to our Visit pages for information about the accessibility of Manchester Museum.


Free self-led visits

Cost: Free

To ensure that all school groups are able to make the most of their museum visit, we require all school groups to book in with us.

Free self-led visits include:

  • Access to galleries
  • Free tickets to special exhibitions
  • Coat storage
  • A reserved 30 minute lunch slot in our picnic area (for full day visits only)
  • Hazard ID & Risk Assessment documents
  • Access to our free resources for schools* including ‘Big Question’ activity packs (see below)

Small group visits (maximum 12 pupils):

We encourage smaller groups (maximum 12 pupils) to book in with us so that we can provide you with a timetable that will meet your needs. Booking enquiries for groups of 12 pupils or less can be made using our small groups booking enquiry form.

Afternoon visits:

If you wish to bring your group for an afternoon visit after lunch (arrival from 1.30pm) please complete our booking enquiry form.

Full day self-led visits:

Bring your class for a full day visit to the museum! We have 3 different timetables available every day, including a scheduled 30 minute lunch slot in our picnic area. You can now book your class for a self-led full day visit through to the end of July. Book your full day self led visit.

*Free Resources

Self-led visits can be enhanced through the use of a range of free resources for you and your pupils including a welcome video (with subtitles and BSL), gallery guide, activity ideas and more


The Big Questions

Cost: free

The Big Question is the ultimate way to enhance your self-led visit to Manchester Museum. Bring your topic to life and connect with our curators through a combination of free pre-and post-visit resources, all helping your pupils to look, connect, explain and wonder.  We are delighted to offer SEND World of Work resources free of charge.

Find out more about our Big Questions


Live Animal Encounters

Cost: free

Our Live Animal Encounters allow students to get up close to frogs, snakes and more from our amazing Vivarium.

Students will meet a member of our Vivarium team who will bring animals out from their cases so that your group can see individual features, ask questions, and be inspired!

Find out more and book

Things to know before your visit

Getting here   

There is a drop-off point for coaches outside the museum on Oxford Road. Minibuses can park at Cecil street car park. The museum is also on a major bus route and a short walk from rail and tram spots. Plan your visit here.

There is limited disabled parking available for school group transport. Please contact to discuss this or include this information in your booking or enquiry.

Space for everyone   

  • All of our programming has been made with SEND in mind.
  • We are working on video tours and additional information to support students with SEND and help them prepare for a visit to the museum.
  • Our lifts offer step-free access to all museum spaces.
  • Please let us know of any access requirements when you book your visit.
  • More information on accessibility can be found here.

Risk assessments and group visits  

  • Our Museum Hazard ID document and General Site Risk Assessment are available to support you to produce your own risk assessment for your visit. You are welcome to arrange booking a site visit ahead of your school visit to carry out your risk assessment and we are happy to arrange for you to meet a member of the team to discuss this: please email to arrange this.
  • Teachers (or other accompanying adults) remain responsible for the general health and safety of children, as at school. Teachers (or other adults) should remain with their primary and secondary school groups at all times.
  • The minimum adult to pupil ratios that we recommend for schools visits is: 1:6 for Early Years & KS1; 1:8 for KS2, 1:15 for KS3, KS4 & Post-16. Note this excludes adults providing 1:1 support.


  • View the museum map here.
  • There is a picnic area and café on the ground floor next to the Main Hall. Space for school groups will be allocated for school groups through the booking process.
  • The Museum Shop is full of souvenirs inspired by our collections and prices start from 50p.
  • There is a water fountain in the Welcome Area.
  • We are able to arrange for storage of coats, bags and lunches for school groups through the booking process.
  • We have lots of toilets throughout the museum including a fully accessible Changing Places toilet and all-gender toilets

Find more information to help with your visit

Get directions

Digital Touch Replicas

We’ve worked collaboratively with students from Grange School, a local school for autism, and Pinc College, a specialist college for creative education, to create Digital Touch Replicas (DTR)  for the museum’s Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibition.

Digital Touch Replicas are physical objects that can be explored by touch. Feeling different areas of the surface triggers hidden electronics, which in turn plays information relating to the area on a screen or tablet. Physical interaction with objects is particularly important for visitors with sensory impairments and for those who need to make physical connections with objects to make sense of them.

This DTR technology, which aims to make museums more accessible, is based on research by Sam Beath, Senior Conservator at Manchester Museum, as part of a PHD at Loughborough University.


Pinc College

Did you know that Manchester Museum is home to Pinc College?

Manchester Museum is registered as a specialist education provider and a charity. Pinc College, a Specialist College for Creative Education, is based on the Top Floor at the museum, alongside some of our other partners.

The Top Floor at the museum includes flexible and dynamic spaces for people to come together to learn, share ideas, build community, and make plans.


Find out more about Pinc College

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As one of the UK’s largest university museums, we care for over 4.5 million objects, with an internationally-important collection spanning from Archaeology to Zoology, and nearly everything in between. We work with communities, support university students and schools in Manchester and beyond and we are a free, inclusive museum for all. But we need your help. Every object we care for, exhibition, school visit and community event comes at a cost, and you can help make the museum as ambitious and impactful as possible.