Free Financial Times offer is for FE students too

Students from colleges and independent training providers will be able to read the Financial Times for free, despite the offer for 16 to 19-year-olds initially only appearing to be available for secondary schools.

The FT this week advertised a scheme, sponsored by Lloyd’s Bank, for “secondary schools” with sixth-forms to register for free subscriptions starting in September.

Standard FT subscriptions cost £5.35 per week, so access to the paper for free will save each student over £278.20 each year.

But the advert for the scheme, first unveiled yesterday for 16 to 19-year-olds, only invited secondary schools to register.

FE Week checked with the FT if the scheme would extend to FE colleges and ITPs with students in this age range, which a spokesperson confirmed it would.

She added that it would be open to 16 to 19-year-olds on any course, including A-levels, BTecs and apprenticeships.

The spokesperson then told FE Week: “We hope that many FE providers take up this opportunity for the benefit of their 16 to 19 year old students.”

The initiative will not be available to learners aged over 19, but the FT will offer “solutions” to older students seeking access to the website, for example through discounted subscription rates.

Each college, training provider and school which signs up to the scheme will be given its own unique login which can then be shared with each student at the institution.

Learners and their teachers will also receive a weekly bulletin email.

The content will be chosen with a panel of teachers, who will select specific articles, videos and podcasts that they consider to be relevant.

Providers need to register for the scheme at

Providers will have access for at least a year, and can then continue at no cost for as long as the programme lasts. The FT said it would notify providers if and when the scheme ends.

Caspar de Bono, the FT’s Business to Business managing director, said: “Universities and employers are looking for candidates that are confident about their subject, and can demonstrate a wider interest than the minimum required by the curriculum.

“A pilot initiative [with secondary schools] has shown that FT journalism can play a valuable part in building this deeper interest. We hope that an enthusiasm for FT journalism will stay with these students in their life.”

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