Copyright Licencing

F Williams made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

The request was refused by Department for Education.

From: F Williams

18 January 2013

Dear Department for Education,

I am requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Following the press release regarding the savings for schools and
academies due to the DfE negotiating a blanket licence with the
Copyright Licencing Agency for all state funded schools/academies,
I would like to request the per pupil rates that have been
negotiated with the CLA.

This is not a request for the per pupil rate that the DfE is
charging to schools and academies but the rate that the DfE is
actually paying to the Copyright Licencing Agency for the CLA
licence.

I would also like to request details of how the savings of £1.6m in
2013-14 have been calculated.

Yours faithfully,
F Williams

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Department for Education

22 January 2013

Dear Mr/Ms Williams

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2013/0003788.

Thank you

Department for Education
Public Communications Unit
Tel: 0370 000 2288

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Department for Education

11 February 2013

Dear Mr/Ms Williams,
Thank you for your request for information which was received on  21 January 2013. You requested the per
pupil rates that have been negotiated with the CLA for their licence and details of how the savings of £1.6m
in 2013-14 have been calculated.

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).

The Department holds the information you requested, but it is being withheld under section 43(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, because it is considered to be commercially sensitive information.

Section 43 provides for information to be exempt from disclosure where disclosure under this Act would, or
would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person. This exemption requires a public
interest test to be carried out, to determine whether the public interest in withholding the information,
outweighs the public interest in its release.

Following the press release regarding the savings for schools and academies due to the DfE negotiating a
blanket licence with the Copyright Licencing Agency for all state funded schools/academies, you requested the
per pupil rates that have been negotiated with the CLA, stressing that this was not a request for the per
pupil rate that the DfE is charging to schools and academies but the rate that the DfE is actually paying to
the Copyright Licencing Agency for the CLA licence.

The CLA publish their national rates for licences on their website at:
[1]http://schools.cla.co.uk/your-cla-school....
The DfE have negotiated a substantial discount on those national rates on behalf of all schools in England.
For clarification, you should note that the per pupil rate that the DfE is charging to schools and academies
is exactly the same as the rate that the DfE is paying to the Copyright Licencing Agency for the CLA licence.

The purchase of the licence is through public funds and there is a strong public interest in ensuring
transparency in this process and in there being accountability for publicly spent money within the
Department. This is to ensure that public money is being used effectively and that the Department is getting
value for money. 

However, the general public interest in releasing the information requested must be balanced against the
public interest in protecting commercially sensitive information.

The release of the per pupil rates in this case would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the
Copyright Licencing Agency as it would enable the calculation of the rate of discount negotiated between the
Department and the CLA. This could prejudice their negotiations with other purchasers of their licences. The
disclosure of this information could also prejudice the Department’s commercial interests by adversely
affecting the bargaining position during future negotiations, which could result in the less effective use of
public money. It is therefore considered that it is not in the public interest to disclose information
relating to the detailed per pupil rates as it is not already publicly known and would be likely to be used
by other purchasers of licences.

You also requested details of how the savings of £1.6m in 2013-14 have been calculated. Again, a detailed
account of the savings would require disclosure of the per pupil rates which are being withheld under section
43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, because they are considered to be commercially sensitive
information. I am able to say that we have assumed administrative savings of £770 per local authority and
£175 per academy, based on a small sample of local authorities and academies respectively. 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference
number in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to
your request and wish to make a complaint, or request a review of this decision, you should write to me
within two calendar months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, however, the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have
already exhausted the Department’s complaints procedure.
Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2013/0003788. If you need to respond to us, please
visit [2]www.education.gov.uk/contactus, and quote your reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Ian McVicar
Education Funding Group: Funding Policy Unit
[email address]
[3]www.education.gov.uk

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References

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1. http://schools.cla.co.uk/your-cla-school...
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
3. http://www.education.gov.uk/

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