'Dreams and Aspirations: a vision for SEND inclusion'

This summer term, promote creative expression and raise awareness around special educational needs and disability in your school or setting with the Tes SEN Show Poetry Competition 2021.

Through the theme of 'Dreams and Aspirations: a vision for SEND inclusion', the Poetry Competition invites teachers to promote group conversation around SEND, how children and young people experience inclusion and what they think it should look like. Pupils are encouraged to put pen to paper and transform their thoughts, experiences and aspirations into a poem. The aim is to encourage the development of dreams and aspirations amongst all children and young people, especially those with SEND.


Submit a poem or poems inspired by the theme, 'Dreams and Aspirations: a vision for SEND inclusion', which will be reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges and organisers of the Tes SEN Show, MA Exhibitions. A shortlist of entries will be drawn up, with four winners selected (one from each category).

The winners, along with their teachers, will be invited to receive their prizes at the Tes SEN Show on Friday 8 October, presented by Cressida Cowell, the number one bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019-2022. The winning poems will be displayed for two days around the Tes SEN Show for all attendees to view, then published along with the commended poems into the digital Tes SEN Show Poetry Anthology.

The prize fund will include a combination of book vouchers and school resources. The prizes will be announced later this year.

How to enter

This competition is for students aged 5 - 19 based in the UK. It's free to enter and you can send as many poems as you wish. Submit your poem(s) using the button below.

Key dates:

Competition opens: Tuesday 23rd March
Competition closes: Saturday 31st July
Winners and shortlist announced: Friday 17 September
Prizegiving ceremony: Friday 8th October at the Tes SEN Show


  • Primary - Individual (Ages 5-11)
  • Primary - Group (Ages 5-11)
  • Secondary - Individual (Ages 11-19)
  • Secondary - Group (Ages 11-19)
Submit a poem


Download two free lesson plans for Primary and Secondary to help you get started. Just click on the images below to download your free lesson plan.

Additional resources

You can also download lesson plans and worksheets from The Poetry Society and National Literacy Trust here:

If you have any questions about the Tes SEN Show Poetry Competition and submitting a poem, please contact Frances Heaume at frances.heaume@markallengroup.com.

Terms and conditions

  1. All entries must be entirely the entrant’s own work and must not have been published in print or online before the closing date of the competition.
  2. All entries must be in written English or recognised sign language, e.g. BSL alphabet; makaton, and no translations are permitted unless the poet has translated their own original poem.
  3. Poems must be no longer than 200 words.
  4. For the Primary (group) and Secondary (group) categories, groups must be no larger than one class size.
  5. To maintain anonymous judging, there must be no identifying marks on any poem or title. The competition administrator will match your entry title to your email address after anonymous judging is complete.
  6. Work will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  7. Feedback will not be given on individual entries or on the results of the competition — the judges’ decisions are final.
  8. By submitting your entry(ies) you are agreeing to allow Mark Allen Group copyright to allow publication of work submitted in future materials created for the use of marketing and other purposes.
  9. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged between 5 and 19 except employees of Mark Allen Group Ltd, including its affiliated companies, organisers, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  10. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  11. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  12. The closing date for entry will be 31st July 2021. After this date, no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  13. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  14. MA Exhibitions Ltd reserves the right to change the event timings, date and/or venue.
  15. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND CONSENTS. By entering this Competition, you are consenting to our use of your entry both to publicise this Competition, The Tes SEN Show or any other educational show we own or control. This means that we may use all names, images, descriptions, and other information, which you’ve submitted on entry, in any media, without paying you and without any time restriction. You will also have waived any moral rights or right to payment that you may have had.