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Your students' work

This section helps identify issues that schools should be aware of surrounding copyright ownership of students' work and the rights of students, schools, and teachers.

On this page:

Who owns copyright in students' work?

Students own the copyright of any work that they create at school.

What rights do students, teachers, and schools have?

When a school wants to publish or copy a student's work (for example by putting it on a school website or reproducing it in publicity material), the school must first get permission from the student's parents or guardians. As well, the school must get the student's permission when the work has been produced by a secondary student.

Get permission

The simplest way to cover this is to ask students and their parents to sign a general copyright permission form when they enrol at your school. (This has the added benefit of ensuring new students and parents are aware of copyright issues.) Such permission should be limited to use of the work in restricted ways for educational and administrative purposes only.

Moral rights

The student, as author of a work, retains their moral rights in the work. See the Moral rights section under What is copyright?

Students should be encouraged to identify themselves as the author of their work (by attaching their name to the work) and formally assert their moral right to be identified.

The school should obtain permission from the student's parent or guardian (in the case of primary students) as well as the student (in the case of secondary students) to copy or use the student's work in a restricted manner. The school should also continue to acknowledge the student as author of the work.

Example of a student copyright permission form