The theme for 2023's competition was: 'Inspiring minds: the difference you make to me'.

Students were invited to create a poem reflecting on something that they feel has been integral to helping them get to where they are today. This could be anything that has had a positive impact on their lives i.e. support networks (teachers, support workers, family, friends), pets, hobbies, clubs etc.

We are so delighted to see the Poetry Competition going from strength to strength and we received an incredible number of entries this year across all six categories. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to put pen to paper and send congratulations to all of the winners and runners up.

We will be publishing all of the poems very soon in a digital anthology so keep checking back!

2023 Poetry Competition Winners

Aiden Graham, Two Moors Primary School
Music is Magic

Annie Slater, Weaver Primary School
My world

Poppy Zarifeh, Arc Oakbridge School

Zac and Jedi, Horris Hill
Moral Support

Osmond and Ethan, Horris Hill
Before the hero came

Jason and Tobi, Horris Hill
My Teacher

Amelia Mitchell, Roedean
The Glass Wall

Jude William Siddalls, The Deanes School
When I Feel Worried

Florence Beldon, Cartmel Priory School
You're Special

Northern Ireland and Wales Youth Group, SHINE-Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
How I Shine

7RLit, Trafalgar School
You Support Me

8RLit, Trafalgar School
Support Networks

Israel Oliveira Pereira, Kings School London
How do I supposed to be?

Jessica Peck, ArtWorks South Yorkshire
A fishes tale

Inclusion in Sports Co-production Group, International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS)
Change the World through Mixed Ability



2023 Judging Panel

Michael Rosen, Poet (Head Judge)
Carol Allen, Education Advisor for ICT and Inclusion
Sarah-Jane Critchley, Author, Speaker, Consultant and Coach
Ben Graham, Student and 2022 Tes SEND Show Poetry Competition Winner
Beverley Walters, Head of Content and Exhibition Director, Tes SEND Show

If you have any questions about the Tes SEND Show Poetry Competition please contact Helen Longhurst at helen.longhurst@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), Secondary (group) and Further education (group) categories, groups must be no larger than one class or study group 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 25 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 30 July 2023. 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 SEND 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.

Information and Support:
Sometimes we all need someone to talk to. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from further information or support on a range of mental health issues, the following organisations may be able to help:

  • ChildLine - a free, 24 hour confidential helpline for children and young people who need to talk.
    Phone: 0800 1111
  • Mind - provides advice and support on a range of topics including types of mental health problems, self-harm, legislation and details of local help and support in England and Wales.
    Phone: 0300 123 3393 (weekdays 9am - 6pm)
  • YoungMinds - offers information, support and advice for children and young people on mental health, wellbeing, racism and self-harm. Help for concerned parents of those under 25 is offered by phone. YoungMinds Crisis Messenger: text YM to 85258.
    Phone: 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm)
  • Rethink Mental Illness - offers practical help and information on a wide range of topics such as The Mental Health Act, living with mental illness, medication and care.
    Phone: 0808 801 0525 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm)
  • SANE - provides confidential emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness. It also provides a resource for anyone affected by suicide.
    Phone: 0300 304 7000 (4.30-10.30pm daily)
  • The Mix - provide non-judgmental support and information for young people under 25 on a variety of issues including mental wellbeing, sex & relationships, exam stress, money, drugs and self-harm.
    Phone: 0808 808 4994
  • C.A.L.L - offers emotional support and information on mental health and related matters to people in Wales.
    Phone: 0800 132 737 (24/7) or text "help" to 81066
  • Inspire (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) - provides local services to support the mental health and wellbeing of people across Northern Ireland.
    Phone: 028 9032 8474
  • SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) - can provide general mental health information and signpost you to your local services.
    Phone: 0344 800 0550 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm)
  • Place2Be - providing mental health support to pupils, families and staff in UK schools.
    Phone: 020 7923 5500
  • National Autistic Society - providing support, guidance and advice for those on the autism spectrum and their families.
    Phone: 020 7833 2299 (Monday to Friday 9am-12pm and 1pm-3pm)
  • Child Bereavement UK - helping children and young people, parents and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or a child dies.
    Phone: 0800 02 888 40
  • Information from the NHS on mental health
  • Information from the NHS on self-harm
  • Mental Health Foundation - provides a guide to mental health problems, topical issues and treatment options via their website.
  • LifeSIGNS (Self-Injury Guidance & Network Support) - an online, user-led voluntary organisation, founded to create understanding about self-injury and provide information and support to people of all ages affected by self-injury.