Student days, INSETS and courses booking FAQ

How to Book

How do I book?

We strongly recommend that you phone to check for availability before booking. You can then either book by phone using credit/debit cards only (tel. 020 7815 1329 Monday-Wednesday or 020 7849 4451 Thursday-Friday) or book by post by completing and returning the booking form with a cheque (made payable to 'British Film Institute') or card details to: School Bookings, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT.

Where can I find the booking form?

You can download the form here or use the form at the back of the BFI Education Brochure.

Are all fields on the booking form mandatory?

Yes, all fields on the booking form are mandatory (especially the email address field). We find it helpful to know year groups and specifications followed so we can ensure student study days are appropriately targeted.

Can BFI Education reserve places without payment?

No, provisional bookings cannot be accepted. You must pay at the time of booking. Bookings are taken on first-come, first-served basis.

Can BFI Education invoice my school?

No, the BFI cannot invoice. The booking form is an official order for payment.

Is VAT included in the cost of the events?

Education events are exempt from VAT.

Structure of a Student Study Day

What will a Student Study Day be like?

All study days are as described in our brochure and online. Each event is targeted at the level/age range as described and follows either the national curriculum or exam specifications. Generally, all day events start at 10.30 and finish at 15.30, though primary school events often finish earlier between 14.30-14.45. Most study days comprise a clip-based talk plus age-appropriate interactive activities in the morning, followed by a break for lunch. Afternoon sessions may include a full film screening and/or a speaker(s) Q&A and discussion for higher level events.

Some events are better suited to a morning or afternoon session according to content, speaker and target audience. All prices reflect the length of day as well as content.

Teachers are advised to call BFI Education if they have specific questions about the content of a particular event.

Ratio of Teachers to Students

How do I know how to work out the cost of my teacher tickets?

We expect schools to follow their own guidelines for the ratio of numbers of teachers to pupils or students for a trip. However, in terms of charging, all teachers and accompanying adults are charged £1.00 per 5 students. Any additional teachers or accompanying adults pay the student rate for that particular Study Day.

Confirmation Procedure

How do I know if I’m booked on an event?

Booking confirmation will be sent by email to the email address on the booking form. This should always be the teacher leading the group.

You must acknowledge receipt of the email confirmation; this enables us to know the booking is correct.

This confirmation also serves as receipt and must be brought on the day of the event.

On the Day of the Event

What do I do on arrival?

On arrival, please go to the registration desk in the main foyer (by the box office) in order to register your group and/or yourself. There will a stand by the desk labelled with the name of your event as guidance. You will be able to collect your teachers’ and students’ packs plus the programme for the day at registration.

What time should I arrive?

We aim to start all student study days at the scheduled time of 10.30am. If groups are late, allowing students to enter the auditorium can be disruptive and valuable learning time is lost. Therefore, when planning your journey, please aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the event is due to start. Please let us know if you are going to be delayed in advance on 020 7815 1329 or on the day on 020 7815 1408.

We also advise primary teachers to allow time for their groups to visit the bathroom before the start of the event as the session may last for 2 hours or more before the lunch break.

A map of BFI Southbank is provided with your email confirmation of booking. Please ensure you plan your journey and direct coach drivers to the South Bank (SE1 8XT for Sat navs) and not Stephen Street (our other site in London).

What else is included?

All students study days and INSETs include a photocopiable teachers’ resource pack to support the event. Some events also include pupil or student worksheets which are used during the day.

What should we bring with us?

Teachers should ensure pupils and students are suitably equipped with pens or pencils and paper in order to take notes where necessary or to fill in worksheets provided.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Why do study days get cancelled?

Occasionally our Study Days and Insets are cancelled when bookings are low and make the event unviable to run. If we decide to cancel an event, you will be informed at least 10 days before the due date by email and/or phone call. A full refund will be given according to your method of payment.

Should you wish to transfer your booking to another Study Day, this is easily done. Please contact us to arrange this.

How can I cancel my booking?

If you have to cancel your booking, please let us know as soon as possible as often we have waiting lists for events. If you inform us up to 14 days before the event date, you will be given a full refund. If not, there will be an administration charge levied, based on the number of students attending.

What happens if the weather is bad?

Although we rarely cancel events due to bad weather, if a Study Day or INSET is at risk of cancellation due to bad weather, please call 020 7815 1329 Monday-Wednesday or 020 7849 4481 Thursday-Friday for updates. Please bear with us as we may have to take a late decision.


Are there any indoor lunch area?

Yes we have spaces for groups to eat packed lunches. We book these spaces automatically for KS2 and KS3 study days. Older students are also allowed to eat lunch inside the building or alternatively may wish to eat their lunch off-site. Students are not permitted to eat or drink in the auditoria during the session. There are suitable spaces outside BFI Southbank or at the Southbank Centre and National Theatre nearby. Many local outlets sell sandwiches and drinks.

Is the Lunch provided by BFI Education?

Lunch is NOT provided for Student Study Days. Please bring packed lunches. This also applies to teachers – whether they are accompanying a group or attending on their own.

For teachers attending our day-long INSETs, we provide a light lunch and refreshments.

Age appropriateness

Can a teacher bring a class to an event if they are not the age group that event is for – eg can a teacher bring A Level students to a GCSE event?

The events are designed with the appropriate curriculum in mind for the key stage/age group they are aimed at.  However, if you think your students would find any event useful or interesting (for example if you think your A Level students would benefit from a Key Stage 4 event), they are welcome to attend.

We would obviously not recommend a vastly different age group to attend, and need to keep in mind a film’s certification if the event includes a screening.

If there is any uncertainty, please contact us and we will be pleased to advise you.

Can students attend an event without an accompanying teacher/staff member?

This is at the teacher’s discretion for students aged 16-19 attending an A Level Study Day. However, teachers should indicate this on the booking form so we are informed. One student should be nominated to collect the teacher’s pack on the teacher’s behalf. All students under 16 must be accompanied by school staff.

Access to BFI

Is BFI Southbank accessible to wheelchair users?

There is wheelchair access in all of the cinemas and the Learning Spaces at BFI Southbank.

If any of your group uses a wheelchair, please let us know in advance so that we can ensure their place is reserved and they are sitting with the rest of your group.

Are there facilities for the hard-of-hearing?

There are induction loops fitted in all of our cinemas.

How can I find out if new events have been added to the programme?

Any new events or repeated events (due to a large demand) will be regularly posted on the BFI website.

Risk Assessment

How do I find out about the BFI Southbank Risk Assessment policy?

We’ve attached the letter we send to teachers below for your convenience.

Dear Teacher,

Re: BFI Southbank

Each year the BFI Southbank welcomes some 880,000 visitors. Around 10,000 of these are students from schools and colleges. The health and safety of visitors, and those affected by our activities, is of paramount importance to us and we employ a health and safety manager to assist with the provision of good quality advice and support. Health and safety objectives are determined as an integral part of all our business planning activities and systems are in place to manage the risks associated with our activities.

The following measures exist to prevent harm to you when you visit our premises:

Arrangements are in place to manage health, safety and welfare issues associated with the building, fire, and the maintenance of a safe environment. Regular monitoring of the premises is undertaken.

Where incidents occur, we recognise that this may be the result of a failure in our risk management systems, and so investigate all such incidents to identify ways in which we can improve these systems to prevent future occurrences.

Emergency evacuation procedures are in place and members of staff are trained to implement these. Should evacuation be necessary ushers will direct you to the nearest emergency exit. You should remain responsible for your pupils/students and follow instructions from a BFI Southbank employee. The assembly point is on the ramp (with blue lights inset in the walls) which leads down to the BFI IMAX.

First Aid arrangements are in place and a number of staff are fully trained. Should you require first aid please contact a member of BFI staff who will ensure a First Aider is called.

BFI Southbank is a building open to the public and as such we have many visitors. Pupils/students must remain the responsibility of the accompanying teacher/s at all times when on the premises, in particular within the public spaces. BFI ushers will guide you to seats within the film theatre.

We do not have canteen facilities on site and you are advised to bring packed lunches and, if you wish, you can use the BFI public areas. Spaces will be allocated on the day of the event. Please be aware that there is limited seating available and space may be floor space. However, there are also seating areas both inside and outside by the riverbank at the Royal Festival Hall which is a few minutes’ walk.

Toilets and hand-washing facilities are available within BFI Southbank.

We are able to accommodate people with a range of disabilities within our premises. However, we do ask that you notify us of particular requirements, e.g. wheelchair access, beforehand in order that we can plan seating and other arrangements.

The BFI holds Public and Employer’s Liability Insurance and has a comprehensive Health and Safety Policy and Procedures in place.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Reid,
Head of Education, BFI

Contacting BFI Education

How do I contact BFI Education?

If you have any other queries that do not appear here, please call 020 7815 1329 Monday-Wednesday or 020 7849 4451 Thursday-Friday or email