The Education Network for Waltham Forest
Supported by Waltham Forest


Guidance for Schools & Colleges

This section mainly relates to copyright licences for schools, with a small section which explains how the local authority purchases licences for the majority of schools in the Borough for their management information system (MIS).

Copyright licences

Knowing which licences to purchase can be confusing and time-consuming to administer. Fortunately the Department for Education (DfE) has taken the step of providing licences from a large number of the copyright management organisations (CMO) for all primary and secondary state-funded schools in England. These are:

On 27 March 2015, an additional copyright deal was struck for rights to the use of music in schools, which covers licences from:

Thus all maintained schools, academies, free schools, special schools, non-maintained special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs) in Waltham Forest are covered by these central arrangements for these licences.

The licences do not cover sixth-form colleges or academies for 16- to 19-year-olds.

For further information, see the DfE's guidance in this area.

Management information system licences (SIMS licences)

The majority of maintained schools in the Borough use the SIMS Management Information System (MIS) from Capita. The Local Authority has an arrangement to purchase a licence centrally for all schools who use SIMS. The Local Authority then re-charges schools later in the financial year for their share of the central licence. This is determined from the Number on Roll at the school, plus costs for any additional modules that the school wishes to add on to the standard package that the Local Authority has subscribed to. The Local Authority will write to each school in November/December to confirm the licensing arrangements for the next financial year. Schools are, of course, free to choose their own MIS and should have regard to the DfE's guidance if they are considering selecting a new school MIS.

It should be noted that the Local Authority merely administers the purchase of the central umbrella licence. The Local Authority has no involvement in providing SIMS support to schools. Any technical queries to do with the SIMS software, patches and upgrades should be directed to the school's SIMS support provider or Capita itself. All schools under the umbrella licence receive their SIMS support from third party suppliers. When confirming the licensing arrangements for the next financial year in the November/December before, schools should also confirm the name of the school's SIMS Support provider for that year. This is so that Facilities Management (FM) agreements can be put in place between the Local Authority and Capita, which authorises those SIMS Support providers to resources, in order to provide central support to those schools.

If a maintained school using SIMS converts to an academy during the licensing period, they are no longer able to be licensed from the Local Authority's central licence. This is because they no longer fall under Local Authority control. However, if the new academy continues to use SIMS after conversion, and licenses themselves directly with Capita, the academy can obtain a pro-rata refund from the Local Authority, for the period from when they converted up until the end of the licence period that they have already paid for i.e. the end of the financial year. 


Barry Fong, Web Officer
020 8496 8217

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Last updated: 
Friday, 17 July, 2015
Last updated: 17 July 2015 by Barry Fong