Guidance

Copyright licences for schools

Licences the Department for Education provides to schools, and where to get advice on buying additional licences.

We provide licences from the following copyright management organisations (CMOs) for all primary and secondary state-funded schools in England:

These licences cover:

  • local-authority-maintained schools (including maintained nurseries)
  • academies
  • free schools
  • special schools (these are schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities)
  • non-maintained special schools
  • pupil referral units (these provide education for children who can’t attend a mainstream school)

Schools can’t opt out of these licences.

These licences don’t cover:

  • sixth-form colleges
  • local-authority-maintained schools that provide only for 16- to 19-year-olds
  • academies that provide only for 16- to 19-year-olds
  • independent schools

If you’d like a copy of any of the licences we cover, or any further information about them, contact the CMO that provides the licence.

While DfE covers the administration of these licences, you’re still responsible for making sure your staff members follow the terms and conditions of the licences.

If your school needs any more licences, for specific musical performances or showing films to a paying audience, you’ll need to pay for them separately.

You can find more information on the copyright and schools website and copyright hub.

Published 8 April 2014
Last updated 6 July 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added local-authority-maintained schools that provide only for 16- to 19-year-olds to the list of schools that licences don't cover.
  2. Updated information on schools not covered by DfE licences and examples of when schools need to buy additional licences.
  3. Added more licences to the list of copyright licences DfE provides for schools.
  4. First published.