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The reform of schools' funding: some case-study lessons
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 20:54 authored by Michael Barrow
Since the Education Reform Act of 1988 there has been substantial change in the funding of schools in Britain. Individual schools now have their own budgets which are determined by formula, and they have substantial freedom to spend their budgets as they wish. They are also entitled to keep any savings which they make, and these are roiled forward to the next financial year. The funding formula for a school is designed by its local education authority, subject to constraints imposed by central government. More recently a class of self-governing, or grant-maintained, schools has developed with a parallel funding system which is also formula based. A new institution, the Funding Agency for Schools, has been created to oversee the financing of these schools. In this paper, which is based on interviews with officers in six local education authorities and on documentation from several others, the author assesses these recent changes in the education 'market'. It is concluded that the market is not working well due to the complexity of the funding arrangements, the institutional arrangements, the inappropriate incentives offered, and the change in the 'atmosphere' of the education market.
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
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- Economics Publications
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