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CLA agrees new five-year licence agreement with the Department for Education

The Copyright Licensing Agency and the Department for Education in England have renewed the existing central licensing scheme for state schools.  The new agreement, running from April 2021 to March 2026, will ensure that state-funded schools in England retain access to a wide range of published materials to support learning and teaching. This collaboration with the Department for Education marks a continued commitment to education across the country.

Teachers make use of published materials every day.  From the photocopied handout to the scanned extra reading on the VLE to the copy-and-paste worksheet, teachers rely on materials from authors, publishers, and visual artists to resource their lessons.  Never was this brought into sharper focus than under the recent lockdowns, when the sector moved almost entirely to digital and remote teaching.

How copyright relates to teaching

While everyone in the UK, including teachers, is subject to copyright law, blanket copyright licences from organisations such as CLA ensure that teachers can get quick, efficient, and easy access to the materials they need.  By holding a licence, teachers save valuable time and money when resourcing their lessons, and with the licence indemnity, have peace of mind that they are not risking copyright infringement.  Furthermore, CLA’s range of licensee support materials, including user guides, resources, and student competitions, give teachers confidence when using the licence and engaging with copyright.

The benefits of central licensing

The central licensing scheme that CLA has just renewed for both the CLA Education Licence and NLA Schools Licence, goes one step further.  Individual schools and academies know that they are protected by licence permissions but without the need to manage individual licences and invoices.  Students across England continue to have equitable access to resources, and rather than worrying about copyright infringement, or the time and money involved in confirming direct permission, teachers can concentrate on supporting their students with high-quality published materials. The Department for Education is instrumental in ensuring this seamless process.

Phil Hearne, CLA Director of Education said

I am delighted that we have secured a further five-year agreement with the DfE.  I would urge teachers to make full use of the licence and all the support materials that are provided by CLA.”


Giving teachers free access to digital materials

The new agreements bring further value to the sector with the new initiatives they include.  CLA’s Education Platform, launched in September 2020, gives teachers free digital access to textbooks their school owns, meaning they can make copies under the licence in just a couple of clicks.  In addition, the NLA Newspapers for Schools library gives licensed institutions access to UK newspaper clippings to support lesson activities.  Both services give extra value to the licences by saving teachers time with direct and quick access to materials, an endeavour supported by the Department for Education.

The copyright eco-system

The renewal of the central licence agreement sees everyone play a vital role in the copyright ecosystem because the needs of both users and creators are recognised.  Content creators are recognised and remunerated for their work.  Additionally, copyright and licensing are made simpler for schools and teachers, who benefit from not just licence permissions but also the wide-ranging support and services CLA offers.