Schools Poster Competition – supported by Virgin Money

The search for the official 2016 Fringe poster has begun!

This year marks the 36th year of the Fringe Schools Poster Competition. Since its launch in 1980, we have had hundreds of thousands of colourful, creative and inspiring poster entries from schools all across Scotland.

The winning design will become the official poster for the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and will also be used for a range of merchandise. The top three pupils win a cash prize for themselves and their schools, as well as six tickets each to the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert in Edinburgh at the end of the festival.

  School Pupil  
First prize £750 £300  
Runners-up (x2) £400 £150  

The 2016 competition also includes fully updated teaching resources. We hope that the updated resources will help to engage and inspire pupils to create their posters. The resources include a slideshow and activity sheets that can be downloaded and used in class. Entry packs and teaching resources can be downloaded here.

Supported by Virgin Money, the competition is now open for entries. 

Closing date for entries is 17:00 on Friday 04 March 2016

Please follow the links below for more information about the competition. 

About the competition

The Fringe Schools Poster Competition is one of the longest-running arts outreach projects in Scotland. Since its launch in 1980, it has inspired over 100,000 young people aged 5 – 16 from across Scotland to put their artistic and creative talents to the test and create a poster that reflects what the Fringe means to them.

Each year, the shortlisted posters are displayed in a special exhibition in Edinburgh throughout the summer. The winning design becomes the official poster for that year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is used for a range of merchandise, from postcards and magnets to mugs and T-shirts.


2016 Fringe Schools Poster Competition launch   November 2015
Competition deadline for entries   17:00 on Friday 04 March 2016
Schools Notified by post   May 2016
Prize-giving ceremony and exhibition launch   May / June 2016
Exhibition open for public viewing   May / June 2016 - 28 August 2016

How to enter

The competition is open to pupils aged 5 – 16 attending schools in Scotland. The competition is classroom-led, and all entries must be submitted by the school on behalf of the participating pupils. The entry pack has detailed information for teachers about poster submission, poster design criteria, hints and tips and much more.

The entry pack has all the information teachers need to get started, including useful hints and tips for entries as well as details of the prizes available for both your pupils and school.

Download the 2016 Entry Pack

To request a Fringe Schools Poster Competition 2016 postal entry pack, please email

Updated teaching resources

Our learning resources, available to download, are designed to support participation in the competition, but are also a great way to introduce students to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe throughout the year. The resources include sample lesson plans and activity sheets with lessons linked to Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes, and some handy teaching resources.

Stage 1 (age 5-7) 

Stage 2 (age 8-10) 

Stage 3 (age 11-13) 

Stage 4 (age 14-16) 

Additional resources

Slideshow and Classroom poster

The Fringe slideshow is referenced within the lesson plans and can be used to visually inform your class about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The classroom poster can also be downloaded and printed for use as reference material.

Schools Poster Competition gallery

Visit our gallery of past winners and finalists to see some of the colourful poster entries we have had over the years.

Fringe video and photo galleries

The video and photo galleries capture some fantastic scenes from the Fringe that can be used to develop further discussions around the festival. There is also a useful video from well-known performers who have taken part in the Fringe. The edfringe YouTube channel plays host to a number of short animated videos that can be used to inspire creativity!

Pinterest and Tumblr

Our Tumblr, Pinterest and Storify contain lots of great images, videos and tweets from past festivals. Pinterest has a dedicated Children’s Shows category that can be used to aid classroom discussions. You can easily select images to discuss with your pupils or create a pinboard of your own using our resources and images.


Where can I find information about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

There is lots of information about the Festival available in the About us section of

When will you announce the winner of the 2016 competition?

The top three winners will be announced at a special prize giving-ceremony in Edinburgh at the end of May 2016. The winning schools will be notified in advance. All schools will be notified of the outcome in May 2016.

What are the 14 regions in the competition?

  1. Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray
  2. Argyll and Bute incl. Coll, Tiree, Mull, Colonsay, Isla, Jura, Lismore
  3. Ayrshire and Arran
  4. Dumfries and Galloway
  5. Dundee and Angus
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Fife
  8. Forth Valley incl. Falkirk, Stirling, Clackmannanshire
  9. Greater Glasgow and Clyde - incl. Lanarkshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde
  10. Highlands & Islands incl. Skye, Western Isle, Rum, Eigg, Canna, Muck
  11. Orkney and Shetland
  12. Perth and Kinross
  13. Scottish Borders
  14. The Lothians incl. Midlothian, West Lothian, East Lothian

What teaching resources are available and where can I find them?

Lesson plans linked to the Curriculum for Excellence are in place to assist teachers with the competition brief. Teaching resources are available to download above.

What is the deadline for entering the competition?

Posters must reach the Fringe Society by 17:00 on Friday 04 March 2016.

Can children who are home-educated enter?

Due to competition terms and conditions, all entries must be supported by a school. Prize money for the winning entry is required to go to both the winning pupil and the school supporting the entry in order to comply with competition regulations.

We can therefore accept submissions from children who are home-educated as long as the entry is supported by a local school. Parents or home-school tutors can approach their local school and ask a teacher to fill in the entry form, including contact details for the teacher (ideally an email address), to say that the school is happy to support the child’s competition entry.

What are the dates of the exhibition?

All schools will be notified of exhibition dates in May 2016.

Are posters returned to schools?

Due to the large volume of entries to the competition only posters that win a place in the exhibition will be retained. We cannot offer a return or collection for any other entries.

How do I find out about next year’s competition?

Competition entry packs are posted to every school in Scotland each year. If you would like to be kept up to date about the Fringe Schools Poster Competition, please include your email address on the entry form.

A greener competition

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is part of the Green Venues initiative and is always looking at ways that we can reduce our environmental impact. In an effort to reduce our environmental impact we will continue to direct schools to our online entry pack and resources.

Your feedback

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is keen to ensure that schools entering the Schools Poster Competition have the necessary resources to take part. We are always looking to improve on existing resources for the competition. We welcome all feedback and use this in planning for future competitions. Feedback about the competition can be sent to

Feedback from schools

Every year our art department and pupils look forward to entering the Fringe Schools Poster Competition - it radiates a buzz of creativity all around the school.

All of us at St. Mary’s were thrilled to see John and his artwork in the press and of course to see his artwork on all of 2015’s varied merchandise. The prize money was a fabulous boost to our art department and has enriched the learning of our school community.

Many thanks must go to Virgin Money for their generous sponsorship and to the all the staff at the Edinburgh Fringe Society who made one little boy’s day quite so special!

The Schools Poster Competition is such a valuable teaching aid and experience for all of our children and we would whole heartedly encourage any other schools to take the opportunity to have a go. After seeing Iona’s work in Edinburgh we were inspired to organise our own exhibition celebrating the creativity and diversity of all our pupils.

Deborah Wood, Head of Art St. Mary’s School, Melrose

We were so proud for Marc when he won the Fringe Festival Poster Comp. It was a huge achievement for a child as young as Marc and gave our whole community a huge lift! The most exciting part for him was the cake!

We used some of the money to take his whole class to see the display and the rest of the money has allowed us to purchase some unusual art resources that otherwise would be just a wish.

Susanne McCafferty, Head Teacher, Bainsford Primary School, Falkirk

We were all delighted in school with Ailsa’s win. The prize money has greatly benefited the art department - it has been used to provide lasting departmental resources, such as a new embellisher for senior pupils to use for textiles projects and digital cameras for each classroom.

Joanne Campbell, Art Teacher, the High School of Dundee

I really enjoy offering this competition to my pupils as it is a particularly ideal Curriculum for Excellence project covering all bases. The pupils love it – a real design brief, with excellent resources available (via your website) and the incentive to win money. It is a project I look forward to working on and the pupils do too.

Jennifer Hay, Culloden Academy, Inverness

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