Important information when booking a poet

How much will it cost to bring a poet into our school?

In general, poets who work in schools charge the 'standard' daily rate that begins around £300 per day. Travel expenses are charged on top of this fee. Well-known poets can be more difficult to book, and their daily rate for schools work is in the £500-£800 bracket. If you want to approach one of the big names, we can pass on their agent's contact details.


The Poetry Society levies a small charge for facilitating a poet's visit to your school. for this we locate a suitable poet for you, coordinate contracting and paying the poet, and will invoice the school directly for the session.

Our services are free to school members of the Poetry Society. School membership costs £40 for primary schools and £58 secondary schools, for which the schools receive poetry books, classroom posters, lesson plans, Poetry News, Poetry Review (secondary schools only) and Poems on the Underground posters. 

Find out more about SCHOOL MEMBERSHIP 


How should we prepare for the visit once the poet has been booked?

Before the visit:

  • Fees should be agreed in advance, and the procedure explained for claiming expenses. The method and time of payment should also be arranged.
  • Public liability insurance is available to poets working in schools through the Arts Council of England, so ask if your poet is insured.
  • Make sure you have agreed the schedule for the day with the poet. It can be tempting to try and squeeze in as many workshops as possible but it is important to make sure pupils have enough time to work meaningfully with the poet. One reading (perhaps in assembly) and two or three workshops with small groups is a realistic maximum.  
  • To get the most from the visit, be clear about what you want. If you are looking for an entertainer for an end-of-term event or a presentation on careers - let the poet know.
  • Make sure you are aware of the poet's published work.
  • Make the poet's collections available to pupils, possibly on display. 
  • Let pupils prepare some questions they would like to ask.

Send the poet the following information:

  • Details on how to find you and what lunch arrangements have been made.
  • A timetable for the day, showing break times, assemblies, workshops and readings.  Include information about group sizes and ages.
  • Information on what kind of texts students have been reading and writing recently.
  • The name of the key teacher who is organising the day, and who they can turn to if they need any further information or support.   

Ask the poet for the following information:

How they would like to be introduced and how they would like the children to address them

  • Ask if the have any dietary or special needs.   


What can we do in terms of follow-up after the visit?

  • Make sure the pupils have time to finish off writing tasks they began with the writer.
  • If your students are between ages 11 – 17, submit poems for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, the UK's leading competition for young poets. Your students can enter as many poems as they like, of any length, on any theme. Visit for more details.
  • Join the Poetry Society. Your whole school will benefit from Poetry Society School Membership that includes free access to our poets in schools consultancy service, books, exclusive lesson plans, subscription to Poems on the Underground posters and more.
  • Display the students' finished work, make a school anthology, or prepare a reading for parents or governors.
  • Writers of all ages are motivated by the possibility of publication. Perhaps your local paper would feature a story?
  • Poetry Society Schools Members and Youth Members can submit work for publication on our Youth Pages. Contact us for further details.


Any further questions or to book your poet

Please email the Education Co-ordinator, Rachel Piercey, or tweet us: @Poetry_Soc_Edu.