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Check Permissions

Find out what can be copied, shared or re-used under your licence.

How to check if the book or magazine you want to copy is covered

Checking if you can copy your favourite resource is easy! Simply type the title or author or ISBN/ISSN number of the publication into our Check Permissions search tool to get an instant result. You'll find it in the bright green bar running across the page just above this content.  

Watch our Licence to Copy video to learn more

How the licence works and how it benefits teachers, students and copyright owners

See what can and can't be copied 

What can be copied

Read more about the licence for schools and check if your school is covered on our Schools Licence page

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some books have the CLA logo on?

Wherever you see this logo, it means the publisher is working with CLA to raise awareness about the CLA Licence. This is a licence held by all state and most independent schools in the UK that permits copying of extracts from books, magazines, journals and digital publications for teaching purposes. If you see the logo on a book, it means that, if you are a teacher, you can copy extracts from that title in line with the terms described on this page.

Do I need to have copyright permission to copy extracts for educational use?

Books, magazines, journals and digital publications are protected by UK copyright law, and copyright law applies to everyone. So when a teacher wants to provide copies of content from a book to their students, they will need permission to do so - permission that is granted by a CLA Licence.

Can I make and share a recording of me reading a book aloud?

This activity is outside the CLA Licence – see below for what is covered – and so we advise that you check with the publisher of the book.  

What sort of thing does the CLA licence cover?

Its covers the copying of text and still images from published titles. For anything else, for example for playing or recording music, or showing a film – see the links below.

Can I copy from books that I personally own?

Your school needs to own or subscribe to the thing you’d like to copy from. You can’t use personal copies, or free inspection copies that you get in the post.

How do I know if something I want to copy is covered by the CLA Licence?

Look out for the CLA logo on books, or you can type the ISBN, URL or title into our Check Permissions  search tool (see above) to find out for sure.

But the copyright page in the book says I need to seek permission from the publisher…

Don’t worry – the CLA Licence is the permission you need. As long as the Check Permissions tool says the title is covered then you can copy it.

Are workbooks covered?

The licence covers most types of title, but not workbooks which are books designed for individual students to write into and priced for class-set purchase.

The book I want to copy isn’t covered – what now?

It depends on what you want to do. You may need to buy enough books for all your students or you can contact the publisher for permission - many publishers have a dedicated page on their website. However, the vast majority of UK-published titles are covered by the licence.

The book I want to copy is covered, can I just copy as much as I like?

You can copy an extract: this means up to 5% or one chapter or article, whichever is the greater.

Does that use up my copying allowance for the year? How long do we have to wait before we can make copies from the same book again?

You can only copy up to the limit above for any one class, lesson, or 'course of study', so if you need a different extract from the same book for another year group in your subject, or another teacher needs another chapter for a totally different subject, that’s fine, you can make the copy.

For example, if you make a copy of a book chapter and give it to year 4, you can make a copy of a different chapter from the same book to give it to year 5. 

Alternatively, a Geography teacher could make a copy from a book and a Biology teacher could copy another chapter from the same book.  

How many copies can I make?

As many as you need so that all the relevant staff and students have a copy.

What about images, can I copy those?

You can copy images in titles covered by the licence, and this includes some websites (just use the Check Permissions tool to see) but they must still be only for classroom use. If the website isn’t covered, you’ll have to check the terms and conditions of the website to see whether copying for educational use is permitted. 

I want to put a copy on the VLE – is that covered?

Yes, the licence covers you to display, print out, photocopy, scan, copy and paste and retype extracts.

Can I keep the copies for next year?

Yes, as long as they’re in a good state, are likely to be needed by students in future and in the case of electronic copies, are safe and secure, the copies can be kept for as long as required.

Do I need to tell anyone what I’m copying?

No, you don’t have to tell anyone - just go ahead with copying. On occasion CLA might request your school to help with a data collection exercise – this helps to ensure we pay the right publishers and authors for for the re-use of their work. All will be explained if your school is selected, but thank you for your help in advance!

My school bought a digital resource subscription – is that covered by the licence?

It may be, just check via the Check Permissions tool. If the result comes back negative, don’t worry, you may be able to copy under the terms of the subscription, but have a look to make sure.

I’d like to post my lesson resources on TES – is that covered by the licence?

The licence lets you copy hassle-free for your students, but no public-facing copying is covered. You’d need the permission of the publisher to put anything on an online platform like TES.

I’ve heard about fair use – what’s that?

'Fair Use' is a concept in US law that helps judges to decide whether copying is lawful without permission or licence. In the UK there are a clear set of copyright exceptions instead, some of which are governed by a similarly named concept, 'Fair Dealing'.  It can be complex so please see the IPO’s guidance if you would like more information.


Copying something other than a book or magazine?

If you want to copy something which isn't a book, magazine, journal or digital version of these, you will probably still need to seek permission to comply with copyright.  See below for details of the licensing organisations that can help you with this.

Music Video Newspaper
PRS for Music Filmbankmedia NLA media access Schools Licence
Schools Printed Music Licence Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC)  
Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI)    

About the Licence To Copy campaign

The licence To Copy campaign is an industry initiative by CLA supported by educational publishers and authors.  The campaign aims to make teachers aware of the CLA copyright licence and what it means for schools.

Copyright means that you need to seek permission before you can re-use published material. When you see this badge in a book it means that you are licensed to copy 5% or one chapter from the book for your lessons to support learning as well as saving yourself valuable planning time.

licence to copy badge

By supporting the Licence to Copy campaign, you are also helping to acknowledge the vital role of creators in the UK education sector.

So keep an eye out for the badge on books and catalogues and look out for blogs or share our social media stories to help all UK teachers understand that they have a 'licence to copy'.

You can also download our LicenceToCopy leaflet to share.

Some of the publishers supporting the campaign

Image showing the logos of publishers supporting the licence to copy campaign


Is your school covered?

Licence support documents

Education Knowledgebase

For FAQs and information about the CLA Education Licences please go to our Knowledge Base

Subscribe to our mailing list

If you would like to receive emails containing news about licences, events and competitions you can subscribe here.

ACCESS DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS With a free Education Platform account

Our new online Education Platform offers a new way of making copies from books for use in teaching. It is free to use if your school is covered by a CLA Licence. Access your schools' textbooks from anywhere!

Follow Education Platform on Twitter

Follow @EduPlatformUK

Help us to pay authors, visual artists and publishers

We are always looking to for better ways to collect the data we need to pay the people whose content is used in schools.

Watch authors discuss teaching and copyright

See how we know who to pay  

Useful Links