UK schools licensing

Information about using Copyright Protected Music (applicable to schools in the UK only)

We provide the below information to help schools and teachers understand how copyright material can be used legally within a school. Please note that the below information is relevant only in the UK. For information about copyright exceptions or the use of copyright content in schools outside the UK, please contact your local Intellectual Property Office and Collective Rights Management Organisations.

Using sheet music, notation and/or lyrics

The Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) permits photocopying or scanning of entire musical works from UK printed music publications or 10% of an anthology (eg all Trinity College London Press graded books are anthologies) or choral works for activities within the curriculum. The school must own at least one original copy of the music and the copy must be for use in school activities. 

The SPML is available (exclusively from the Copyright Licensing Agency) to all state-maintained and independent schools in the UK. For any exceptions and exclusions as well for further information please see the following link:

The Schools Printed Music Licence does not permit copying of printed musical works for private music lessons. Please see the following guidance for peripatetic teachers:

The Schools Printed Music Licence permits the reproduction of works only from printed music publications. To make copies of musical works from a digital source, permission must be sought directly from the music publisher.

Performing music or using pre-recorded music

No licence is currently required to play or perform music before an audience of teachers and pupils as part of a lesson.

Performing copyrighted music for extra-curricular activities: Schools that host live music performances need a blanket licence from PRS.

Playing pre-recorded music for extra-curricular activities: Playing music from CDs, records, tapes, MP3 files, audio downloads or streaming pre-recorded music requires performance rights licences from PRS for Music and PPL (both licences are available from the Centre for Education & Finance Management,

Virtual Learning/Online Learning/Learning Management System

The same rules apply in relation to the use of sound recordings and compositions in online learning, virtual learning and learning management systems unless such learning takes place “live” and both teacher and student have purchased a legitimate copy of the Trinity book(s). You must not include musical, broadcast and film recordings without the necessary clearance from the rights owners. There will be rights in the music, lyrics, the performance and the recording so clearance must be obtained before use. Such clearance is not given or implied by Trinity.


For further information please see the following

Learn more about Trinity College London Press here.

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