Devolved school management: guidelines

This guidance supports the development of devolved school management schemes, which set out how local authorities fund schools and the accountability and responsibility for financial decisions.


1. The terms "Local Authority" and "Local Authorities" are used throughout this guidance to mean the education authority, being a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994.

2. The terms "school" and "headteacher" are used throughout this guidance. These guidelines recognise that in relation to DSM, the functions and roles undertaken within an empowered school system are not restricted to headteachers. Although the role of headteacher is identified throughout, shared and distributed leadership means that other staff members, or groups, may undertake an area or aspect of DSM. The guidelines support distributed leadership, collaboration and consultation, whilst recognising that the accountability and responsibility will reside with the headteacher as the leader of their school, supported by the Local Authority.

3. In preparing a delegation scheme reference should be made to Section 8 of the 2000 Act which requires the Local Authority to have a delegation scheme, and provides more details on: the circumstances in which they can be applied; what they must contain and what they may contain. For example, section 8(2)(a) requires that where a delegation scheme is in place in respect of a school that scheme must delegate to the headteacher the preparation of the school improvement plan and section 8(3) requires that the scheme must require the headteacher to exercise the delegated functions in a manner consistent with the Local Authority's duties to secure improvement in the quality of school education which is provided in the school management by them and with a view to raising standards of education.

4. School Funds refer to funding raised by the school though other avenues and are not devolved by the Local Authority, the headteacher is responsible and accountable for these funds. Each Local Authority will have their own processes and procedures for these funds.



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