Devolved School Management: draft guidelines

Draft new Devolved School Management Guidelines to local authorities, providing guidance on local authorities’ Devolved School Management Schemes regarding how they fund schools and the accountability and responsibility for financial decisions.


Devolved School Management was introduced in 1993 to enhance and improve the management of resources at school level. The DSM guidance was reviewed in 2006, and again in 2012, taking account of the changing economic and financial climate for both Local Authorities and the Scottish Government. In June 2017 the Scottish Government consulted on changes to DSM as part of the wider "Fair Funding to Achieve Excellence and Equity in Education" consultation.

These updated DSM guidelines seek to build and improve on the DSM Guidelines of 2012 and, critically, reflect and integrate with the Education Reform Programme and priorities emerging from the Scottish Government and COSLA Education Reform Joint Agreement of June 2018.

The guidelines were developed through extensive stakeholder engagement (Appendix C) and produced by the Scottish Government and COSLA in conjunction with the Fair Funding Working Group and Fair Funding Reference Group. These guidelines are issued by Scottish Ministers under section 13 of the Standards in Scotland's Schools etc Act 2000 (the 2000 Act). This guidance is issued to Local Authorities in relation to their functions under Section 8[3] of the 2000 Act in relation to delegation schemes. Before issuing this guidance, Scottish Ministers consulted those detailed in Appendix C about the proposed guidance. The guidelines are sufficiently flexible to support local variation and local circumstances, ensuring that the democratic right, aims and priorities of locally elected members remain fundamental to successful schemes.

The guidelines replace three separate documents from 2012 - Devolved School Management Guidelines, Devolved School Management Self-Evaluation Toolkit and Devolved School Management Examples of Practice from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) Resources Network.



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