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Frequently Asked Questions

What is First News?

First News is the only newspaper for young people in the UK. It informs and engages children in the world around them with accessible news stories and current affairs features.

Written and edited by professional journalists especially for 7-14 year olds, First News is dedicated to broadening the horizons of our young readers. We inspire a passion for reading through the exciting world of news and current affairs.

How many children read First News?

Almost half the schools in the UK now subscribe to First News with more than two million children reading the newspaper each week. 87%* of teachers say that First News improves their pupil’s literacy and 89%* of teachers would recommend First News to their colleagues.

*Reader survey 2014

How did First News start?

First News was founded by former editorial director of BBC Children’s Magazines, Nicky Cox MBE, with a steering role from investors Steve and Sarah Jane Thomson.

Who owns First News?

First News is published by First News (UK) Ltd, a dynamic, independently financed publishing house established in January 2006. Among its aims, it aspires to raise the profile of children’s views and opinions in society.

Can my school be featured in the newspaper?

We actively encourage our subscribers to submit articles and reports for our schools news page. Please bear in mind that space is very limited but we will try to feature as many schools as possible. Any material for schools news should be sent to newsdesk@firstnews.co.uk.

What is the impact of First News in schools?

First News has been proven to help your pupils’ reading. In 2015, the National Literacy Trust evaluated the impact of using the First News Reading Package in schools. An online survey and reading test conducted among over 500 children in Years 3 to 6 before and after participation in classroom activities showed positive changes in both reading attitudes and attainment. You can see either the full evaluation here or the summary here.

I’m not sure how to introduce newspapers into the classroom …

Pupils will get more out of reading a newspaper if it is explicitly taught. Children will then understand the purpose of newspapers, the organization and traditions of the text types, and know the language and vocabulary to discuss the stories. This will help develop pupils’ critical literacy skills and enable them to become fake news spotters of the future. Ideas and activities for introducing newspapers can be found here.

How can First News work in my primary school?

We recommend integrating First News into weekly reading. In one weekly reading session, give pupils the opportunity to read the newspaper to find the stories that interest them. In a second reading slot use one of the printed or iHub reading activities, such as the news comprehension or debate, to develop pupils’ reading skills. This works easily in guided reading carousels and gives pupils regular access to non-fiction. Other First News reading activities can be used for homework.

How can First News work in my secondary school?

First News is a flexible classroom resource that can be used in different ways depending on your school context. Why not dedicate one KS3 English lesson a week for news and developing core non-fiction reading skills? Pupils can then read the newspaper (many secondary schools use the digital version of First News) and develop comprehension skills with the iHub comprehension and debating activities. The iHub weekly polls give engaging content for form-time discussions. The Level One and Level Two news activities are ideal for supporting pupils with SEN and EAL.

What subscription packages do you offer?

For UK schools we offer three First News Education products:

  • Newspapers
  • Activity Sheets
  • The iHub

We offer recommended packages for schools, or you can create your own bespoke package by choosing which First News Education tools you would like. This can be done here.

All of our UK subscription packages include postage and packing.

For international schools we offer we offer the same products. Digital tools can be purchased online. If you require physical copies of the newspaper please call 01371 851 898 or email education@firstnews.co.uk.

What age is First News suitable for?

First News is aimed at children between 7-14 years old. Our resources are aimed at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 and the newspaper is also great for introducing non-fiction texts to Key Stage 1.

How much does a subscription cost?

We have a variety of subscription packages available depending on what type of school you are and how many pupils you have. Subscriptions start at £55 per year, for one print copy. Please use our price calculator for an accurate quote on your desired subscription package and number of copies.

How do I order a First News subscription?

You can order your First News subscription on this website by clicking on the buy tab on the main homepage. You will need the following details to order your subscription.

  1. Your school type and number of pupils on the roll (this allows us to display the packages suitable for your school).
  2. What subscription package you would like to order.
  3. Your delivery address including a contact name, email and telephone number.
  4. Your invoice details including a contact name, email and telephone number.
  5. When you would like your subscription to start and your preferred term dates.

You can also order your subscription by calling 01371 851 898 or emailing education@firstnews.co.uk.

How will I know if my order has been received?

Once you submit your details you will receive an email notifying you that we have received your order. You will also receive a welcome letter shortly after your subscription has been processed. If you have selected a First News Reading Package you will receive an email on how to register and access the Activity Sheets.  If you do not receive these please call us on 01371 851 898.

I have a special offer code, how do I use this?

Simply enter the special offer code when you are prompted when ordering your subscription. This code will direct you to our special offers.

Who can I call if I have a question?

If you have any questions regarding your First News order please call us on 01371 851 898 or email us at teachers@firstnews.co.uk.

The First News Digital Edition is available for your school to access across all devices, including computers, tablets and phones.


Access our browser version here and login using your First News Education ID. Every Friday you access the latest issue via the same link.


Download the new ‘First News’ app for your school’s Apple devices. Once downloaded, you’ll be prompted to login using your school’s First News Education ID.


Download the ‘First News Newspaper’ app via Google Play, across all of your school’s Android devices. You’ll be prompted to log in using your school’s First News Education ID.

Please note:
Our previous Digital Edition required initials to be added after your school’s First News Education ID. As part of the improvements to our new Digital Edition, you no longer need to put initials after your ID, making your school-wide access of First News quicker and easier to manage.


What does my subscription include?

If you take the iHub your subscription includes access to the iHub for the number of pupils selected for 52 weeks. Please note activities are only produced for the iHub during term time (40 weeks of the year).

If you take the First News newspaper with your iHub subscription, you will receive them each week during term time (40 weeks of the year).

The digital version of the newspaper is accessed via our app. Digital access gives you a school site licence for use on all school iPads/tablets. This is for 52 weeks of the year.

How can I sign up?

You can sign up for a subscription at any point by emailing education@firstnews.co.uk or calling 01371 851 898.

What is the price?

You can find our prices here.

How long is a subscription?

All subscriptions run on an annual basis, schools content is only produced during term time. You need to let us know before the end of your subscription if you don’t wish to continue to use the iHub.

Do you offer home subscriptions?

Not yet but this is something that we may offer in the future.

How can I pay?

You will receive an invoice once your order has been placed. You can pay by cheque or bank transfer. If you require making a card payment please call 01371 851 898.

I have a current subscription to First News, how do I upgrade to the iHub?

It’s very easy! Just contact us on education@firstnews.co.uk or 01371 851 898 and we can get you set up on the iHub straight away.

Where can I download the Activity Sheets?

You can download the Activity Sheets from a dedicated section of the First News for Schools website, under ‘my account’. You will need to login to access these resources and these will also be emailed to you on Friday afternoon, to coincide with the delivery of your copies of the newspaper.  All resources are available in a universal PDF format for use with all machines.

How can I register for the Activity Sheets?

  1. Visit https://schools.firstnews.co.uk/register/
  1. Input your unique Web ID (please see below for details on where to find this)
  1. Fill out your details and select a password
  1. Press submit and this will create your account.

Please note that there is no limit to the number of teachers who can register using your unique Web ID, we do however ask that you use a school email address where possible.

In future, to access the resources you will need to login here – www.firstnews.co.uk/login. Using your email address and password.

Where can I find my WEB ID?

You can find your Web ID on any correspondence you receive from us, including your welcome letter and above the address on your subscription packaging. If you are unsure of your Web ID please email us at education@firstnews.co.uk or call us on 01371 851 898.

Can I access all of the Activity Sheets?

Yes, as long as Activity Sheets are included in your subscription you will be able to view and download all of the Activity Sheets.

Are the Activity Sheets limited?

All of our Activity Sheets can be downloaded as many times as you like within the school. Registrations are also unlimited, so every teacher in the school can create their own account.

Can my pupils login from home?

No, pupils can not log in to access Activity Sheets from home. These are designed for teachers to access/print for pupils to be used.

If you want your pupils to be able to log in and access First News Education tools at home, we recommend you subscribe to our Literacy iHub which allows children to complete the activities at home or at school. 

If you are interested in your pupils having First News delivered at home please visit subscribe.firstnews.co.uk.

Do you have any other resources available in addition to the Activity Sheets?

Yes, please click on the ‘Partner Resources and Competitions’ tab under ‘Learning Tools’ to browse our selection of free resources.

When will my subscription start?

It’s completely up to you when your First News subscription starts. You can either start from the next available issue (usually 14 days from when your order is placed), from the next term or a date of your choosing. Please remember that you will receive First News on a Friday, so please plan your start date accordingly.

Can I start a First News subscription half way through the school year?

You can start your First News subscription at any point in the year. Your subscription will still run for a full year regardless of when you start your subscription. For example, if you subscribe in November your subscription will be up for renewal in November of the following year. You can either chose to start your subscription from the next available issue, the next term or a date of your choosing. Please note that if you do not want to start your subscription from the next available issue or school term, you will need to call us to specify your required start date. Please call our subscription team on 01371 851 898.

How long is a First News term time subscription?

All of our prices quoted per year are for a 40 week school term. This is broken down into the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. You will not receive copies during the Christmas, Easter or Summer holidays.

Will I receive copies during half term holidays?

Yes, you will receive copies during the half term holidays.

What are your standard term dates?

We offer two sets of term dates depending on where you are in the UK. The term dates for the 2016 – 2017 school year are as follows:

English Term Dates:  
6th September to 13th Dec (15 wks) 
10th Jan to 27th March (12 wks) 
17th April to 10th Jul (13wks)    


Scottish Term dates:
23rd Aug to 13th Dec (17wks)
10th Jan to 27th Mar (12wks)
17th Apr to 26th Jun (11 wks)


Please note that all of our subscriptions have a minimum term of one year. You will need to specify your preferred term dates when ordering your subscription. If you are a current subscriber and would like to change your current term dates please call 01371 851 898 or email us at education@firstnews.co.uk.

How do I pay for my subscription?

Your school will be sent an invoice shortly after your subscription has been processed.  Your school can pay via BACS or Cheque and all invoices are payable in 30 days. If you would like to make a payment by card please call 01371 851 898. When paying by BACS please ensure that you send a remittance advice to remittance@firstnews.co.uk. If your council will be making a payment on your schools behalf, please ensure that they include the invoice number when making the payment and a remittance advice is sent to the above address.

How do I upgrade my subscription?

You can increase your number of copies at any point in your subscription. You can choose to upgrade from the next available issue, the next term or a date of your choosing. If you upgrade to our First News Reading Activities you will be able to register for the Activity Sheets within 48 hours.  To upgrade your subscription please call 01371 851 898. Please note that you currently cannot upgrade your subscription online.

How will I be charged?

If you increase your number of copies half way through your current subscription term we will raise a credit note for the amount of money on your account. We will then use this towards your new subscription and send you an invoice for the remaining balance. For example, if you have £100 left on your account, and your new subscription is £300, we will invoice you for the additional £200 due. For further information please call 01371 851898.

Can I decrease the number of copies I receive each week?

Unfortunately you cannot decrease the number of copies you receive each week. If you would like to make better use of your subscription, please let us know at education@firstnews.co.uk.

How do I cancel my subscription?

If you would like to cancel your subscription, you will need to let us know by the date listed on your welcome letter – this is 2 months prior to the end of your subscription. We will also send a reminder email 3 months before the end of your subscription date. Please note this email will go to the account holder information we are given at the checkout. Please see below for a full list of our terms and conditions. Please also note that the minimum subscription term is one year and we do not refund on unmailed issues.

How do I renew my subscription?

The contract period for First News Education is one year. Please note that we operate a rolling renewal process.

This means we will automatically renew your school’s First News Education package every year unless we hear from you at least two months prior to the end of your contract period.
If you do not cancel by this time we will automatically renew your contract and invoice your school for a further year.

Invoices will be sent annually and are payable within 30 days. Quoted prices are guaranteed for one year and we reserve the right to increase the prices for any subsequent year.
You can upgrade your contract at any point.

What will you do with the data?

We will only use the data you have supplied to contact you about your subscription or any relevant offers should you opt in to receive these from us.  We will contact you by post, email or phone.  You will be asked for your contact preferences when placing your order.  If you have already placed your order and would like to change your contact preferences please email us at education@firstnews.co.uk or call us on 01371 851 898.

We will never pass or sell your details on to third parties.

How can I contact the editorial team?


First News, First Floor, 58 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0AS

0203 195 2000

Email – Newsdesk@firstnews.co.uk

Are you on social media?

For all our education updates, please follow us on Twitter at @FirstNews_Teach

Who can help me with a school query?

For subscription queries, please email education@firstnews.co.uk or call us on 01371 851 898.

For online registration issues for schools and teachers, or any other school related question, you can email us on schools@firstnews.co.uk

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

Please email us at education@firstnews.co.uk or call us on 01371 851 898.

The minimum subscription period for schools for First News is one year. We operate a rolling subscription renewal process. This means we will automatically renew your school’s subscription package every year unless we hear from you in writing. We will inform you each year of the date by which you need to cancel your subscription if you want to cancel. If you do not cancel in writing by the specified date your subscription will be automatically renewed for a further year, and we will continue sending you your requested number of copies and invoice your school for a further year. Cancellations received after the specified date will not be accepted. Invoices will be sent annually in advance and are payable within 30 days. Quoted subscription prices are guaranteed for one year, and we reserve the right to increase the subscription prices for any subsequent subscription year. First News reserves the right to communicate with you by post, phone or email with reference to your subscription. In addition we may also send you information about selected products, events or services. First News reserves the right to alter or change the resources available at any point in the future.