Free Tickets and Books for School Pupils

Book - Free Books

Thanks to the generosity of their long-term Lead Sponsor Baillie Gifford, this year’s programme of events for schools at the Edinburgh International Book Festival – available to watch in-person, online and on-demand - will be entirely free. Every pupil visiting us in-person this August will also receive a free book related to the event they see and pupils attending Baillie Gifford Gala Day on Tuesday 30 August will also receive a free goodybag, making their visit extra special.   

Schools can join in-person or remotely from their classrooms this 22-30 August as the Festival brings some of today’s best writers and illustrators for children and young people to the Book Festival stage. School children will be able to say hello to authors in real life as this year’s line-up will all join in-person at the Festival home at Edinburgh College of Art.   

To help more schools attend this year’s Festival in-person, Baillie Gifford is also supporting the Transport Fund which schools can apply to for a financial contribution towards traveling to and from the Book Festival site.   

For those unable to visit the Festival site in Edinburgh, all events will also be available to watch online as a livestream and on-demand at a time that suits individual classes, allowing primary and secondary schools, as well as home-schooled children from across the country, to experience the joy of books, words and storytelling.    

The Baillie Gifford Big Book Giveaway, generously funded by Baillie Gifford, is also returning this year. The giveaway offers all school pupils attending the Festival in-person a free book as well as the opportunity for classes watching online to win book bundles for their school library. The Festival is also offering schools 25% off orders placed on their independent online Festival Bookshop. More details about all these wonderful freebies and discounts will be available in this year’s Baillie Gifford Schools Programme, available from 27 April.   

Rachel Fox, Children & Schools Programme Director, said:

We are over the moon to be able to offer every child of school age, from in and around Edinburgh and regardless of circumstance or financial means, the opportunity to engage with what we do – it really is a dream come true. While the world has been shut down, our young people are some of those who have suffered the most, so to be able to bring an entirely live and in-person programme to them, completely free, really is something very special. That said, we are also aware that the pandemic is far from over, so we are also excited to be able to offer a fully digital programme for those who cannot attend in person.

Michelle McLeod, Sponsorship Manager at Baillie Gifford, said:

The Schools Programme is an excellent way for schools to inspire and engage young people in books, and develop their love for reading. The Festival team have worked incredibly hard to develop a wholly hybrid programme for schools, making it easy for any primary or secondary to take part. Our partnership has always been one of collaboration and we are delighted to support the Festival’s ambitions, helping to remove barriers for schools and pupils so they can fully enjoy the magic that the Festival brings.

This year’s Baillie Gifford Schools Programme will be available to download from the Book Festival website from 27 April. Bookings for free tickets for schools to visit us in-person open on 3 May and bookings to watch events free online open on 8 June.   

We can’t wait to welcome schools back to the Book Festival for in-person events for the first time since 2019 and to continue with our popular online option too. Our thanks go to Baillie Gifford for making this possible.   

The Edinburgh International Book Festival will take place from 13-29 August 2022 and the programme will be announced in June


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