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Copyright deals 'will save money for schools'

31/03/2014 Kelly
The government has announced significant savings for schools up and down the country as a result of copyright license deals it has made.

Institutions and local authorities were previously required to buy licenses individually, often resulting in expensive and time-consuming negotiations. The Department for Education (DfE) has now reached agreements so that from next month all state schools in England will be automatically covered for these licences.

Some £6.5 million of savings are predicted thanks to deals with licensing companies for shared rights to use films, newspapers and television shows in classrooms.

An agreement has been reached with Filmbank, which allows schools to show top Hollywood, Bollywood and independent schools.

A deal with the Newspaper Licensing Agency will allow schools to use newspaper and magazine cuttings in lessons.

Another organisation with which an agreement has been reached is the Educational Recording Agency, which allows institutions to show programmes from a variety of television channels in lessons.

Finally, a deal with the Motion Picture Licensing Company is set to give schools access to movies and programmes created by more than 400 film and television producers and distributors.

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."

The DfE says it is committed to reducing the administrative burden often placed on those in teaching jobs. 

It has reduced the amount of unnecessary guidance issued to schools by 75 per cent - the equivalent of more than 21,000 website pages.

The department has also abolished self-evaluation forms for government inspections and has simplified complex financial school budget restrictions. 

Introducing a simplified inspection system will also help to relieve the bureaucratic burden, the DfE claims, with no need for teachers to produce plans for every lesson.

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."

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801708236-ADNFCR
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