Creative Commons Policies for Schools

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[The following is the text from the latest Creative Commons brochure, Policies for Schools (PDF). If you would like us to send you a set of these policy brochures — or any other Creative Commons resources — please get in touch. We have also embedded the brochure, below. Please feel free to download and share it!]


“Without sharing, there is no education”
– David Wiley.
As anyone who works in education knows, all teachers share and collaborate. From swapping lesson plans to reCC brochureusing  assignments, teachers are constantly looking to make better resources by building on each other’s work.
The good news is that this is getting easier. With the Internet and digital technologies, there is a much wider pool of teachers to collaborate with— and, in turn, a much richer range of reusable digital resources. With over 2,500 schools and 53,000 teachers working in New Zealand state funded schools, the potential is enormous.


By default, the copyright in resources made by most kiwi teachers in the course of their employment is held by their respective Boards of Trustees (their employers.) Legally, this means that teachers have to ask permission from their Board of Trustees before they can share their resources.
As more teaching and learning is done online, it’s essential that teachers have permission to legally share and collaborate. This is why Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, following the lead of NZGOAL, is recommending that each Board of Trustees adopt a Creative Commons policy giving all school teachers advance permission to legally share their resources for reuse.


Approved by Cabinet in July 2010, NZGOAL (the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework) advocates the use of Creative Commons licences for copyright works released by State Services agencies, including New Zealand schools.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is an international non-profit, with projects in over seventy countries. Creative Commons provides free, legally robust licences that allow copyright owners to give permission for their work to be shared and reused. A Creative Commons licence tells other people what they can do with your work.
Creative Commons licences are being used everywhere—from the White House and Wikipedia to the New Zealand Government—to enable content and data to be shared and reused.

Creative Commons Policy

A Creative Commons policy approved by your Board of Trustees will enable teachers at your school to share their teaching resources under a Creative Commons licence. A Creative Commons policy will:

  • Encourage teachers at your school to legally share and collaborate online;
  • Ensure that when teachers leave, both the teacher and the school retain access to all teaching resources;
  • Enable NZ teachers to spend more time adapting high quality resources, and less time reinventing the wheel.

“Teachers are collaborating more, and they’re also involving their students in the development of those teaching and learning resources.” – Mark Osborne,  Albany Senior High School
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