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Educational Recording Agency Licensing Scheme

Educational Recording Agency logoHertfordshire schools should be aware that they are covered by the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licensing Scheme which authorises licensed educational establishments to record certain television and radio programmes for reference and repeated use. It is important that Hertfordshire schools know what is, and what is not covered by this licence.

With the emergence of Learning Platforms and Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) schools are increasingly wanting to make digital recordings available online so that they can be accessed from beyond the school premises. Schools must be aware that this is not covered by the terms of the ERA licence. If schools wish to make recordings available in this way then they must purchase the ERA Plus licence, as the blanket Hertfordshire licence is for the standard ERA only.

ERA License

Below is a summary of what is covered. For full details please refer to the ERA website.

  1. Under the terms of the ERA Licence, Hertfordshire Schools can record free to air broadcasts which include BBC Television and Radio, ITV, ITV2, ITV3, Channel 4 and E4, Five television and S4C.
  2. Schools are covered for the electronic communication of the licensed recordings within the educational establishment.
  3. On-Demand services where the viewer/listener actively chooses when to view or listen are not considered to be broadcasts and are therefore not covered by the ERA licence and may not be recorded.
  4. Podcasts are generally on-demand services and are therefore not covered by the licence. The recording of such services will be governed by the contractual terms and conditions applicable to the service in question.
  5. Only broadcasts by ERA members are licensed through the ERA. Therefore some parts of broadcasts such as advertisements are not covered because ERA members do not own or control the rights in them. Further information on this is available from the ERA website.
  6. Recordings may be stored in analogue or digital form.
  7. All recordings, however stored, should be labelled with date, name of broadcaster, programme title and the wording 'This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence'. If the recording is digitally stored the labelling should be applied as a written opening credit or a webpage which must be viewed before access to the resource is permitted.
  8. Schools may record parts of programmes covered by the licence, which may be stored in analogue or digital form. These parts are also subject to the labelling requirements.
  9. Adaptation, amendment, distortion or mutilation of recorded material is not authorised under the licence. Eg: adding your own soundtrack. Adding your own subtitles or audio description is also not permitted (subtitles can be recorded with the broadcast material.)
  10. The communication of recordings outside the premises, including use on a VLE, is not covered by the ERA licence. See details of the ERA Plus Licence below.
  11. However, students may borrow licensed recordings on cassette, CD or DVD. (Students should sign a declaration that they will only use the recording for educational, non-commercial purposes.)
  12. Copies of the ERA licensed recording may be made as long as the conditions of the licence are met.
  13. Analogue recordings made under the licence may be digitised (eg VHS to DVD or the school’s server.)

ERA Plus

The ERA Plus licence extends the terms of the standard ERA licence so that licensed ERA recordings may be accessed by students and teachers online from outside the school premises (for example through the Learning Platform) but only within the UK. The ERA Plus is currently not centrally funded. Please contact Lesley Scales, Hertfordshire Contract Management Services and confirm in writing if your school requires a licence.

Telephone: 01707 292602
Fax: 01707 292387

Further information

Full details on both the ERA and ERA Plus licences, including terms and conditions and pricing can be found at the ERA website.  Please contact Lesley Scales for details of ERA Plus pricing, as these licences should be purchased through Hertfordshire County Council:

You may download the ERA’s information booklet here from their web site.

For information on copyright when photocopying and scanning, please visit the Copyright Licencing Agency website: