Heads have a grumble
This unhappiness is compounded by the experience of colleagues south of the border who enjoy the sort of freedom and largesse Scottish heads now envy - because of a Fifer's generosity. Gordon Brown's Budget windfalls go straight to schools without passing through the hands of predatory local authority finance officers. Jack McConnell, the First Minister, has recently supported some shift towards that position while retaining schools within local authorities. He would no doubt have been influenced by East Lothian's unwise decision earlier this year to siphon off education money to social work.
We do not hear voices shouting for an end to local authority responsibility over large secondaries. But heads are pressing for more autonomy. As schools win powers, local authorities lose them. Some have seen it coming and Glasgow's pilot learning communities initiative which jointly funds secondaries and their cluster primaries is one illustration. Beyond that, heads will demand a Teflon financial system that carries cash from the Scottish Executive to their bank account without losing fragments en route to the local authorities.
An accommodation should surely be possible which would allow schools and education authorities to stick to their positions, provided they play to their strengths.