The Royal Mail special stamp issues, which began almost 40 years ago, are designed to celebrate important events and reflect the British contribution to world affairs. This year there are 10 special issues. The June theme - to fit in with Royal Ascot - is hats, and they are the inspiration for the competition.
Using an A4 sheet of paper and leaving a one inch margin around the edge, children can be as creative as they like with their design. Many different ar forms may be used, including photography, painting, graphics, cartoons, sculpture and collage.
Although not for general release, it is important to remember that the two winning designs will be made up into a stamp by the House of Questa. There are 100 runners-up prizes of stamp packs.
Send entries, to arrive by May 7, to: Elaine Henderson, Communication Services, West Port House, 102 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9HS. Please put the pupil's name, age and school clearly on the reverse of their design.
For information on stamp collecting write to the British Philatelic Bureau, Freepost EH3647, 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9PE or see www.royalmail.com