What we do


Copyright education programmes

One key component of ALCS' remit is to educate about copyright - what it means, what it does and how it benefits creators, readers and viewers.

A key element of ALCS' strategy in educating about copyright is to work to educate young people growing up in an environment where illegal downloading and the 'copy and paste culture' is prevalent, at an appropriate age, about copyright, so that they can make informed choices and see what value copyright has to ensure they benefit from their own creativity or the creativity of others.

Young Writer's Guide to Shakespeare

In celebration of the year of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday year in 2014, ALCS teamed up with National Schools Partnership to launch 'The Young Writer’s Guide to Shakespeare'. This programme has been very successful and was refreshed and relaunched in 2015.

Devised by teachers for upper KS2 and KS3, this stimulating copyright education programme aims to breathe fresh air into the teaching of what many students imagine is a difficult-to-grasp subject; whilst also increasing enjoyment of the Bard’s work. Fully mapped to the National Curriculum and free to download, it also introduces students to the concepts of copyright and plagiarism, via lively creative writing and group activities.

'The Young Writer’s Guide to Shakespeare' consists of flexible teachers’ resources, a PowerPoint presentation, classroom activities and a competition for students to enter.

What the Dickens?

Tuesday 7th February 2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. Not only one of our greatest writers, but also a passionate campaigner for copyright who continually raised the issue with the decision-makers of his day.

To celebrate the occasion, and to underline the continuing importance of copyright to writers and creators in the 21st century, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the National Schools Partnership  launched “What the Dickens?”, a copyright education programme for schools, inspired by the work of the novelist, and supported by the Charles Dickens Museum. This programme has been exceptionally successful and as a result was re-run in 2015.

The programme aims to inspire and encourage creative writing in schools as well as nurturing an appreciation of the importance of copyright. It features comprehensive lessons plans for teachers, activities, a competition for students, and supporting films from CILIP Carnegie Medal winning writers Meg Rosoff and the late Mal Peet; and screenwriter Sarah Phelps whose credits include the recent BBC adaptation of “Great Expectations” (see www.whatthedickens.org)

The original programme was included under the umbrella of Dickens 2012 - which celebrated the anniversary year of Charles Dickens across the country.

The findings from this programme can be found here.


In 2011 ALCS commissioned the National Schools Partnership to produce a set of resources for schools. 

Aimed at raising awareness about copyright and how it affects the career of a 'creator', the programme - entitled 'CopyWrite' - focused on 4 key creative careers: that of a novelist, scriptwriter, journalist and publisher. 

The programme, aimed at key stage 3 and 4 students, fitted in with the national curriculum and provided a mixture of video clips and classroom activities to provide an 'off the shelf' learning experience for students. 

The programme also included a creative writing competition for students to engage with whilst promoting a positive copyright message.


The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals Shadowing Scheme

ALCS has, for the last 8 years, supported
the CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Medals shadowing scheme.

Each year over 3,800 reading groups involving over 90,000 children and young people ‘shadow’ the awards; reading, debating and enjoying the shortlisted books.
Shadowing introduces children to top quality fiction and illustration, to new writers, illustrators and genres, and encourages breadth and depth of reading. The shortlisted books fire their imagination and help develop literacy and critical skills.

To supplement this shadowing process, ALCS has provided a range of activities, competitions and resources to raise awareness about copyright and creativity, and to enhance the shadowing experience. The competition in 2012 was based around Dickens (click here for more information) and the 2013 competition encouraged the 'shadowers' to write their own haiku. In 2014 the competition was based around the poetry of the First World War and in 2015 we asked children to take on the persona of a journalist, for the What reading means to me competition. 

The most recent competition in 2016, The Journey, asked entrants to write 300 words on a pyshical or emotional journey that they'd been on. We're delighted at the particularly large response with over 1,100 entries. Read more about the competition and the winners here.

We have produced a set of resources and activities for students and teachers based to help understand copyright. These can be downloaded here.