Green-fingered students have the chance to rise to the challenge this summer.

Primary and secondary schools in Kent, Medway, Bexley, Sussex, and East Anglia are invited to take part in Ted’s Big Sunflower Competition.

Entrants simply plant sunflower seeds on their school site and attempt to grow the biggest blooms. Photographs of the fully-grown flowers – with an adult or child standing alongside to show the scale – must be submitted before the deadline of noon on Monday, September 16.

The challenge is run by children’s educational charity Inspire Schools in partnership with The Education People, which will supply free packets of seeds for schools on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

James Roberts, CEO of The Education People, launches Ted’s Sunflower Challenge.

Schools have until Saturday, June 1 to complete an online enquiry form to request a free packet, subject to availability, or they can use their own. Any enquiries received will also be sent a digital copy of the competition logo to use on the school’s website and newsletters.

Photograph entries must be emailed to charityteam@inspireschools.org.uk by noon on September 16 along with the name and town of the school and names of people in the pictures.

The best photographs will be displayed on Inspire Schools’ fun blog www.PhilAndTed.co.uk featuring Phil Gallagher of CBeebies’ Mister Maker fame and his best friend Ted the Bear.

Winning schools will receive staff training support donated by The Education People, which provides a full range of education services from early years to young adults.

The winners will also go through to the annual Green School Awards for an extra chance of recognition.

Families can join in the fun and submit photographs of sunflowers in their gardens at home but are not eligible for the free seeds.

To find out more, or request a free packet of seeds, visit www.InspireSchools.org.uk/Sunflower