A review to look at how budgets could be managed across schools and groups of schools has been announced today by Education Secretary Michael Russell.
The review will be chaired by David Cameron, former president of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), and produce new guidance by March 2011 on all aspects of devolved school management. This will include how currently devolved and other budgets could be managed across clusters of schools to realise greater flexibilities.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said:
“The Scottish Government’s draft budget was focused on protecting frontline services. In the current financial climate we must do everything we can to maximise what is achieved with the money spent on education. We must do this to ensure that Scottish education does not suffer and that future generations do not unfairly pay for the hard times.
“I have asked David Cameron, a former Director of Education and a key architect of Curriculum for Excellence, to take forward an inclusive and consultative review of devolved school management. This will include a small reference group of key stakeholders.
“The task will involve looking at what education funding is devolved to headteachers, how much flexibility teachers have to determine what this is spent on and how devolved school management could work in clusters of schools. This is important in order to empower our headteachers and teachers.
“I know that education authorities and schools are thinking about school clusters. This is something that I encourage. I believe schools working more in partnership with one another, with other local public services and with the local community is desirable for many reasons. It is also in tune with parental and community wishes.
“Schools within a cluster can have access to a wider pool of talent and greater scope for the generation of new ideas, specialisms and innovation. The mutual support and increased capacity of schools working together can help to nurture and develop the leadership that will be a key to success.
“I want to help this process and that’s why the review will consider all these factors and report back to me by March next year with proposals for new guidance.”