I got a question from Mike Herrity yesterday, asking me about the ways that parents can be given access to SharePoint/Learning Gateway, and explicitly whether they needed their own SharePoint licences.

As an aside: Mike Herrity is a deputy head at Twynham School down in Dorset, and is a great SharePoint user. And what I like about Mike is that he’s a prolific sharer – both his SharePoint in Education blog, and his new Netbooks in Education blog are required reading if you’d like to get ideas about what you can do in the future to support your school to build a connected learning community. Mike’s also one of the people I follow from my Twitter account

So back to the question:

“Do I need extra licences for parents to login to SharePoint for online reporting?”

“No”

Obviously, because it’s a licensing question, there’s a bit more to it, but hopefully easy to understand:

If your students are licensed for your Learning Gateway/SharePoint - eg you have bought Client Access Licences (CALs) - then we automatically extend the rights to their parents too (and the parents will normally have their own logon).

You won’t be surprised to learn that we have a document called “Licensing – Parental Access” that lays all of this out (but perhaps not quite as clearly as above!), and an additional document which you can download to keep with your licensing records:

Additionally, if you have a School Agreement and have licensed all your students and all of your staff with CALs, then you can also automatically be granted rights for prospective students, alumni & students/staff at collaborating academic or government institutions.