Copyright in Schools

Schools are responsible for ensuring that they obtain all the necessary copyright licences to cover their activities.

A Guide to Copyright Licensing In Schools provides the information that you need to ensure that all the necessary copyright licences have been obtained. The Guidance Leaflet available to order or download from the website will help you to identify some of the main activities which need to be licensed and to direct you to the appropriate organisation for further advice and guidance.

The Copyright Licensing Agency publish guidelines and licensing documentation for schools. They also publish guidelines covering photocopying for visually impaired pupils or staff and Joint Industry Guidelines. The CLA produce an explanatory leaflet that gives details of exactly what is covered by a school's copyright license and a list of Excluded Categories and Excluded Works.

What do you do if you want to show a video or DVD in school?

You will need a Public Video Screening Licence to show any flilms or film clips in school because the showing of a film in public in the UK is an act restricted by the copyright in the film. As a result, all public film screenings require the licence of the copyright owner. You can find more information about showing films in schools and obtain the PVS Licence from Distributors Ltd (“Filmbank”).
In 2008 the South West Grid for Learning ran a conference that included seminars about copyright. As a result they have published a useful FAQs webpage.

Questions include:

  • Can we play a DVD to a class; that is a whole DVD?
  • Some people store music tracks they have ripped from CDs or got off the net on our school network...?
  • We couldn't find the source or permissions for an image a child had found and wanted to use in their work which they were taking home; is this OK?

Copy rights and wrongs

The guidance on Copyright for schools is now available from the LGfL website.

Copyright and the MLE

When publishing materials on your MLE then you should follow the guidance as detailed above. However here are some general pointers that you should consider:

  • Images – only use clipart, images, photos etc from Copyright free sources. This also includes images that pupils have used in their work. We have compiled list of websites that supply copyright free resources in the London MLE Information Room
  • Music and Sound files – only use music and sound files from copyright free sources. This also includes sound files and sound tracks that pupils use in their work