Skip to main content

Primary and Post-Primary Schools Licences

Nurture young minds with access to a wider range of classroom resources. The Primary and Post Primary Licence gives teachers the right tools to engage and educate their pupils.

It is mandatory for any educational establishment wishing to make multiple copies of a variety of copyright-protected works to have a licence. ICLA operates the only scheme in Ireland from which such a licence can be obtained. The Licence has been certified for the purpose of the legislation by the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, under Statutory Instrument No. 275 of 2020 (Primary) and Statutory Instrument No. 276 of 2020 (Post-Primary).

As of September 2022 the Department of Education will purchase a central Educational Licence on behalf of all primary and post-primary schools recognised in the Free Education Scheme. Independent schools continue to be licensed individually.

The ICLA Primary and Post-Primary licences provide blanket permissions to copy and reuse content from millions of books, journals, magazines and newspapers published in Ireland and abroad. This means that the text and images from these works are automatically included in our repertoire and the copyright owner has to specifically request if they wish to exclude a work from the licence.

The Licence is fully supportive of blended (classroom and online) learning, including text and images from the internet as well as the full complement of Irish school textbooks.

The schools licence allows you to re-use content in your lessons without having to clear permissions to do so – this has already been done.

About the licence

In Ireland, books, magazines, journals, digital publications and websites are protected by Irish copyright law, and that law applies to everyone. So when a teacher wants to provide copies of content from a website or a book or magazine for their students, they need permission to do so; that permission is granted for up to 5%/one chapter/one article, or the online equivalent, by an ICLA Schools Licence.

This means teachers and other staff can:

  • Make print and digital copies from print and digital books, magazines, journals, newspapers and websites.
  • Make print and digital copies of text and still images from websites and other legitimate sources available on the internet.
  • Copy up to 5% OR one chapter, one article, one short story or poem from an anthology – whichever is greater – for a single course of study.
  • Copy and distribute the equivalent amount from a digital/online publication organised in a non-traditional manner.
  • Share copies with students and staff by email or via a secure virtual learning environment (VLE) no matter where the student is; students may store copies to view at a future time.
  • Use copies with digital whiteboards, VLEs and presentation software programmes
  • Books (print and digital)
  • Journals (print and digital)
  • Magazines (print and digital)
  • Newspapers (Irish and UK – print and digital)
  • Websites and other legitimate sources available on the internet
  • Maps and charts
  • Assignment sheets
  • Printed music (including the words)
  • Some ‘Open Access’ publications
  • Copyright-free publications
  • Copy-paid publications (the price of making copies is included in the original price)
  • Any work that has been specifically excluded*

*Refer to the Excluded Works List for works which are not included in the blanket licence and therefore can be reproduced only in so far as copyright educational exceptions (which are more restrictive than the ICLA licence) allow, and otherwise only with explicit permission from the rightsholder.

Open Access

Some of the publications that a school might wish to distribute to, or copy from for, students and colleagues are made available under Open Access publishing agreements or Creative Commons licences. These can be used, depending on the agreement or licence, without reference to the ICLA licence – the authors are permitting their work to be read, copied and re-used freely, though they should always be acknowledged and their Moral Rights respected. In some instances, however, Open Access publications are ‘open’ purely for reading and not for copying so it is important to check the wording.

Data Collection

In order to distribute the licence income back to the copyright owners your school may be asked to participate in a data collection exercise. Learn more about Knowing What’s Copied.

Music Licence

The Limited Manufacture Licence provides your school with permission to produce products such as CDs and DVDs containing up to 120 minutes of music per product, for example the recording of student performances, recordings solely used for tuition, and student films.

Learn more about the Schools Limited Manufacture Licence.