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Schools to hold purse-strings

Schools could have far more freedom over funds following a Scottish Executive-led review of devolved school management (DSM). Glasgow is already offering one radical option by devolving financial control to school clusters in an innovative pilot and others may follow, David Henderson writes.

Under a modernising education banner, Jack McConnell, Education Minister, this week launched a special website to stir up a national debate. Schemes vary greatly across the country and Mr McConnell wants as many views as possible.

Archie Morton, diector of education in Argyll and Bute and chair of the Executive's DSM review group set up last November, said it was gathering information and would probably report in June. It would consider the impact of school-based bursars.

"There are restrictions on moving money from one budget heading to another depending on which scheme you are in," Mr Morton said. "In the old Strathclyde scheme, heads have a limit on transferring money within the absence cover budget."

The website is at www.scotland. gov.ukconsultationsdsmreview.

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