Good Practice


... and it has affected Good Practice in Learning and Teaching and Management in schools.

The big changes for schools are that the Exceptions for Education now encompass digital technologies and cover all forms of media - film, photography, music, etc as well as text. Importantly for schools working in an authenticated VLE and using systems like IWB are also covered by the Exceptions.

Changes to Copyright for Schools

NB. The detail on the CRW site has not yet been fully updated to reflect the changes, though the approaches to good practice and principles remain the same.

This update October 2014.


Good practice in managing 'copyright'  needs to be embedded into a wide range of the school's activity.

'Twelve Key Concepts' - a summary of Sections 1, 2 and 3

  1. Look four ways: Schools, teachers and pupils meet copyright in four different roles: as users; as re-users; as publishers or distributors and authors or creators. Copyright applies to all four roles. There are different considerations for each role.
  2. Positive approaches: Copyright can be a positive help and protect schools’, teachers’ and pupils’ work and is increasingly needed as we utilise the power of digital technologies to collaborate, share and publish our work; credit work and make it clear what others can do with it.
  3. Curriculum and Policy: embed managing copyright within learning activities; ensure school policies are in place and are informed by 'copyright' awareness.
  4. Acknowledgement and Respect: With Copy Rights go Copy Responsibilities. Copyright protects the rights of other people who have created the work we use – respect their wishes and acknowledge them; have your own work acknowledged and respected in turn.
  5. Digital isn’t different, and copyright applies just as much using digital technologies and the internet as it does using books or television programmes in schools.
  6. Multiple rights: A lot of materials in the digital world - websites, films or games for instance – have multiple copyrights associated with them, not just one. This often applies even to single images. Copyrights exist in a multi-layered world.
  7. There is no general exception from copyright for schools in the the UK Copyright Act; though there is a long list of things that are 'excepted' for education use. (see Section 3)
  8. Permissions: In the UK using in-copyright materials is based on 'permissions'. Sometimes you have to ask and abide by the response you get, whether it's an encouraging 'Yes', a defalting 'No' or an annoying no answer.
  9. Distribution and publishing. Using digital materials for individual learning or even in the classroom is not the same as sharing materials with other people – there’s a clear line in how you think about copyright to be drawn between individual uses and re-using and re-distributing in-copyright materials. If you store materials on a school network for others to use, publish them on the WWW or share them through an online service without having permissions in place the risks associated with Copyright Infringement increase.
  10. Valuing 'open' stuff: There is an increasing amount of material freely available through the internet which can be used without writing off for permission or paying for a licence, but you need to know how to find it and how to use it as the creator requests.
  11. Global reach: Digital Technologies have opened up the practice of learning and teaching beyond the classroom with a wider range of people and sources of resources available to work with. While the internet works seemingly without borders you are bound by the law of the country where you are physically. Schools are legally bound to the UK rules. Copyright regulations are not the same in all countries.
  12. Change: Copyright, like everything else, is developing its regulation and practice in the face of new digital technologies to achieve balance between the rights of owners, distributors and the public including schools. There may well be changes that will effect schools but it also  means there are unresolved issues: work to the existing rules - have a ‘voice’ about the issues.

Note: In ‘The 12 Key Concepts’ the term 'copyright' is used in a very general sense sometimes referring to the wider family of Intellectual Property, sometimes including Licensing and sometimes including other associated rights and practices. For further clarification about what 'copyright' covers please refer to Section 1 About IPR and Copyright

Your Choice

Webstuff and Images

Wikipedia Case Study

Permissions and Publishing

More on Creative Commons

Project Management

Copyright and the Curriculum

Training and CPD

Other UK Education Materials

Education Materials from other Countries

and a bit more in ...

Good Practice FAQ

Good Practice Quiz



Download 12 Key Concepts