Copyright deals to cut red tape, saving schools millions

Schools across England will save more than £6.5 million after the Government struck deals with licensing companies for shared rights to use films, newspapers and television shows in classrooms.

The licences previously had to be bought individually by schools and local authorities, often resulting in expensive and time-consuming consultations.

Now the Department for Education has reached agreements so that all state schools and academies in England will be automatically covered for these licences, potentially saving more than £6.5 million.

The deals have been struck with:

  • the Education Recording Agency (ERA), which allows schools to use programmes from BBC, ITV and other British television channels in lessons
  • Filmbank, which allows schools to show pupils top Hollywood, Bollywood and independent films
  • the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC), which gives schools access to movies and programmes created by more than 400 film and television producers and distributers
  • the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which allows schools to use newspaper and magazine cuttings in lessons

Schools Minister David Laws said: “We are committed to reducing costs and unnecessary red tape for schools. These new licences will allow schools to focus their resources further on providing an excellent education for young people.”

Jo Warner-Howard, head of Education at the Copyright Licensing Agency, said: “Schools were telling us that they wanted us to make licensing simpler and easier and we listened to them. The change will relieve local authorities and academies of the responsibility for administration of licensing.”

The Department for Education is committed to reducing the administrative burden on teachers to free them up to teach. The department has:

  • cut the volume of unnecessary guidance issued to schools by 75%, equating to the removal of more than 21,000 website pages
  • scrapped the burdensome self-evaluation forms for school inspections
  • simplified complex financial school budget restrictions

A streamlined inspection framework has also been introduced. Neither the department nor Ofsted now expect teachers to produce written lesson plans for every lesson.

This announcement follows the Government’s recommendations in the Hargreaves Review to simplify the licensing process for copyright users in the digital age.

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Posted in Academies News.