About the Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) for schools

The Centre for Education & Finance Management (CEFM) administer the Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) on behalf of Printed Music Licensing Limited (PMLL). We were appointed as agents to do this from April 2021. Further information about the SPML and PMLL can be found at https://www.pmll.org.uk/

Printed Music Licensing Ltd. (PMLL) represents the rights of music publishers. On their behalf, PMLL issues licences to allow the photocopying and arranging of sheet music as part of education and beyond. Our licence allows users to make photocopies of printed music (and digitally downloaded printed music)

PMLL is a company owned by the Music Publishers Association Group (MPA Group). As well as safeguarding and championing the interests of its music publisher members, the MPA aims to promote the value of publishing to the wider music industry, creative industry, government and the general public. The MPA also owns and operates the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS). MCPS is the UK collection society that licenses mechanical (or reproduction) copyrights.

Access to printed music and making copies of printed music are essential in music education and music performance, so that students and performers have hard copies available to them of the music they are studying or performing. The licence fees paid to PMLL are distributed as royalties to the rights-holder members.

If you work in or represent a school or a schools music service, a higher education institution, or you are involved with an amateur choir in the UK, where copies are made of printed music then you need to be licensed under one of the PMLL’s licensing schemes. The primary licensing scheme operated by PMLL is the Schools Printed Music Licence and trial licensing schemes are also operated for music services, institutions of higher education and amateur choirs.

Licence Information

PMLL provides the Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) for all schools in the UK. The licence enables teachers to copy any printed music publication they own subject to certain restrictions:

  • copies must be made by teachers/school staff
  • schools must own an original
  • the number of copies made must be equal to or less than the number of pupils in the class
  • no copies can be used for private individual or vocal teaching
  • only 10% of individual pieces of music in an anthology or large vocal scores may be copied
  • only 10% (by number of pages) of any workbook
  • copies must be for school purposes only (not for private use or use in other activities)

From May 2019 the SPML was amended to include ‘digital to print’. This means that teachers can now purchase a pdf copy of sheet music (from a legitimate source) and use this under the terms of the SPML.

There is an exclusion list of works that cannot be copied under the SPML.

Every Copy Counts is PMLL’s new campaign to raise awareness of the SPML and to help teachers comply with the terms of the licence by logging data on the music that is being copied/arranged. Visit Every Copy Counts to find out about the campaign, guidance on how to log data, and about the suite of free learning materials and resources available to teachers as a ‘thank you’ for submitting data.