A copyright deal for rights to the use of music in schools will save schools and local authorities around the country around £4 million, the government has announced.
Under previous arrangements, licences for the use of music had to be bought individually by schools and local authorities, often leading to expensive and time-consuming negotiations.
However, the government has now reached an agreement to hold licenses centrally, so schools will no longer have to apply independently.
A wide range of music uses will be covered by the new copyright licenses, including the recording of pupils' performances on CD and DVD, school discos, radios in the staffroom and holding music for telephones.
These latest agreements, together with other deals on rights to use films, TV shows and newspapers in schools struck over the past two years, could save schools and councils up to £16.5 million a year.
They have been made with the Performing Right Society, Phonographic Performance Limited, Mechanical Copyright Protection Society and CCLI.
In addition, the Copyright Licensing Agency licence, the Schools Printed Music licence and the Newspaper Licensing Agency licence have been extended for a further five years.
Jo Warner-Howard, director of education at the Copyright Licensing Agency, said: "Building on the success of the first centralised copyright licensing model, this new plan, which extends over a longer period and includes more copyright licences, is testament to what can be achieved through the collaboration of the copyright industry and the Department for Education."
Schools minister David Laws said the agreements will help those in teaching jobs by reducing the burden of unnecessary tasks, enabling the education of young people to be prioritised.
A number of other measures have been taken by the coalition to reduce teachers' workloads, including making it easier to extend the length of the school day and streamlining the inspection process.
Posted by Harriet McGowan