Frequently asked questions

Entry process

How much does it cost to enter the awards?

Entry is free.

How do I enter?

Please click here. Please make sure to read the 'Entry guidelines' beforehand. Entry is free and open to state schools throughout the UK. Just tell us why you should win – in 500 words – before midnight Friday 31 July 2020

You may enter as many categories as you wish, but you will be required to fill out a separate submission for each. Please make sure to fill in all the mandatory field, you are not required to full in 'Project name' or 'Project URL'

When is the closing date for entries?

The closing date for entries will be Friday 31 July 2020.

Who can enter?

The awards are open to all state primary and secondary schools in the UK. Entries can be completed by schools themselves, their local authorities or their suppliers (PR Companies etc.) If you are entering on behalf of a school please make sure they are happy for you to do so.

What period do these awards relate to?

Our judges will be looking for outstanding examples of best practice during the 2018-19 academic year. 

We will accept submissions based on projects that commenced prior to the 2018-19 academic year, provided that core achievements have taken place during this main period of focus. We will also accept any evidence that has come to light after the close of the 2018-19 academic year if this further underlines success.

Can we enter more than one category?

You may enter as many categories as you wish, but you must complete a separate submission for each category.

Can we enter more than one project/team in a single category?

Yes. If potential entries are distinctive and unrelated please feel free to submit both. Otherwise it is advisable to combine the best elements of each in a stronger single entry.

How will I know that my submission has been received?

Once you have submitted your entry you will receive an email confirming your nomination/s. This email will also contain a unique ID number which will be used in all future TESSAs 2020 correspondence relating to your entry.

Are collaborative entries accepted?

Yes (see below).  

Schools working together

If your entry relates to an initiative or project carried out in collaboration with another school or schools, the submission should come from the lead school. Any shortlisting will be in the name of that school. If you are successful we will give credit to partner schools at the awards ceremony where appropriate.  

If there is no lead school, to avoid multiple entries for the same project please agree who will make the submission on behalf of the group.     

Schools working with public or private partners

You may enter a project which has been undertaken in collaboration with an external public or private partner, but the award will be given to the winning school only. If the project is successful we will give credit to partners at the awards ceremony where appropriate.

When will I find out if we have been shortlisted?

Shortlists will be published in the magazine and on our website on Friday 25 September 2020


How are the entries judged?

A distinguished panel of experts will meet to choose our winners. We will announce the judges panel closer to the event.

Can I get feedback on my entry?

As much as we’d like to offer feedback on individual submissions, because of the sheer number of entries this is just not feasible.

Can I get feedback on my entry?

As much as we’d like to offer feedback on individual submissions, because of the sheer number of entries this is just not feasible

Awards night / production

When will I be able to buy tickets to the awards ceremony?

Tickets will go on sale on our website soon after the shortlists have been announced.

How do I book tickets for the awards ceremony?

You can book individual places or tables of 10 using our online booking system when the shortlist is announced.

If you have any problems making your booking, please email

How do I submit the attendee's details?

Once you have booked your places you will receive a confirmation email that will include a link allowing you to submit your guests' details.

How will I receive my ticket/s?

Tickets will be sent out in the post three weeks prior to the awards. 

What happens if I have purchased a ticket but I am unable to attend?

We are happy for you to offer your ticket to a colleague, but unfortunately all booked tickets are non-refundable. 

Are under-18s allowed to attend the awards evening?

Under 18's are not automatically able to attend the event due to the venue’s licence. Please contact us for more information. 

When are the winners announced?

Announcement of the winners will be made at the awards ceremony at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on Friday 13 November 2020

What is the programme for the evening?

Champagne reception - 5.30pm 
Dinner - 6.45pm  
Awards presentation - 8.45pm
After party - 10.00pm 
Carriages - 00.00 

What is the dress code for the evening?

Smart evening wear


How do I become a sponsor? 

Find out more about becoming a sponsor by contacting our Sponsorship Manager here