FT Student Advocate Programme

Welcome to the FTs Student Advocate Programme

The Financial Times is offering two ambitious Year 12 students in secondary schools globally with free access to FT.com and the chance to become a Student Advocate.

Student Advocates will develop leadership skills and confidence by representing the views of students to the FT and promoting the advantages of reading the FT to their friends and teachers. Advocates will have the opportunity to become the voice of students so we can better understand their views, vision and ambitions. Schools can also benefit from a more engaged and informed sixth form.

If you are a teacher at a secondary school with free access to FT.com, nominate your school’s Student Advocates before 5th December 2022.

Student Advocates will be able to complete their role from their school, but will be in regular communication with the FT Schools team digitally. The placement runs from December to April, and we recommend that students spend roughly four hours per month on their role. Student Advocates are unpaid. For more information on the programme, please refer to the FAQs and guidelines below.

If your secondary school does not already have access to FT.com, you can sign up for free.

As a Student Advocate I learned many things including proactivity, teamwork, public speaking and networking. I have also improved my time management skills, learning to balance my FT work with my school work, which will be helpful for university. I would recommend being a Student Advocate to anyone looking to develop transferable skills, regardless of what they are studying and it has been a confidence booster, and something I never would have done before.

Lauren Hills Road Sixth Form College

FT Student Advocate Programme

Find out more about the Student Advocate Programme and discover what the benefits could mean for you.

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  1. Student Advocates must prioritise their school work over this role. If you (or your teachers) feel that your workload is too much, you must pause your participation activities until you have more time. If this happens, please email your mentor who will be able to offer the support you need.
  2. Participation in the FT Student Advocate Forum is encouraged but isn’t compulsory. When posting on the forum, you must not post any content that:
    a) belongs to someone else (such as copyright material);
    b) consists of advertising, sponsored or promotional links or content;
    c) is offensive, defamatory, threatening or indecent;
    d) discriminates on the grounds of race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age; or
    e) personally attacks other members of the forum.
  3. You must not act in any way that is harmful to the FT or your school.
  4. You must only promote the FT within your school, not externally.
  5. You must not use the FT brand to promote or endorse any of your other activities.
  6. We encourage Student Advocates to be creative, but ideas which involve using the FT brand must be cleared with the FT first via Slack.

The FT can cancel your participation at any time if we believe that you have broken any of these rules. If we cancel your participation then you must stop all activity relating to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Schools can offer two curious and ambitious students a work experience opportunity at a prestigious news organisation. Improving engagement with current affairs makes for a more informed sixth form: 92% of FT reading students say the FT improves their intellectual curiosity and 85% feel they understand their subjects better from reading the FT.

This Programme is great for schools looking to demonstrate they are meeting the Gatsby careers benchmarks.

Teachers must nominate no more than two Student Advocates in Year 12 per school. Schools can decide how they choose their Student Advocate. Often teachers ask students to write an application as to why they think they would excel in the role. Teachers then fill in this online form to register their students.

Schools must nominate their Student Advocate before 5th December 2022. We have 250 places available this year and we will offer them on a first come first serve basis.

The FT will write once a term to teachers to update them on the progress of the Programme and their school’s Student Advocate. Based on teacher feedback, we will also be running bi-monthly virtual town hall events for teachers. If a student is struggling, the FT will be in touch to help find a solution. There is a feedback survey at the end of the Programme.

100% of students in previous years felt they had some or significant development in their time management, leadership, communication and creativity and public speaking in their exit survey. Students will be able to showcase these new skills gained through working for the FT in their personal statement/CV, helping to make applications more impressive.

Students who are highly engaged on our online portal and with monthly calls will also qualify for a reference from the FT at the end of the Programme. We were proud to award more than 100 references in 2020-21

The Programme is also an excellent networking opportunity. Students will work with like minded, bright young people and the FT Schools Team. At the end of the Programme, students will be added to an alumni network of Student Advocates from previous years. Connections like this will be useful in the future for job/client recommendations.

Student Advocates will show their friends and teachers the benefits of reading the FT in school such as: understanding topics taught in lessons better, adding real world context to essays, preparing for university applications and feeling more confident with careers and personal finance decisions.

Student Advocates will also develop ideas to help transform the FT into a more compelling resource for young people. This will entail:

  • Completing our task list for how to build the profile of the FT (tasks include meeting teachers from different departments, a short presentation in assembly, organising a Road To Riches board game session). We will provide guidance on how to do this.
  • Explaining and developing idea on how the FT can be more relevant to young people.
  • Monthly calls with the FT Schools Team and regular participation on our online learning portal.

The internship is entirely remote - all work is done either online or in school. There are no current visits to the FT offices.

The Programme runs from the 5th of December 2022 till the 31st of March 2023.

It is entirely flexible, but we recommend roughly 4 hours per month. Academic work should come first, and students should pause participation if their workload becomes too much.

Students are grouped together in clusters of Advocates from 50 schools. Each cluster is mentored by a Student University Mentor. Their mentor will answer questions on the online portal, post feedback/new resources as well as lead monthly calls. Mentors will be the point of contact for Advocates, but there will be involvement from others in the FT Schools Team including the Global Education Editor and the Project Lead for Education.

The FT will provide the Advocates with all the resources needed to complete the prescribed tasks, help Advocates develop their own ideas for how to increase awareness of the FT in schools and support students in their personal development throughout the Programme.

Student Advocate Alumni would be well placed to apply for the paid role of a Student University Mentor when they leave school and progress onto university, gap year or apprenticeship.

Student Advocate Programme 2022-23

Nominees for the 2022-23 academic year have now closed. We will be in touch with all nominated students soon. Thank you for your interest.