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Top head urges freedom on how devolved funds are spent

Headteachers want greater devolution of resources - but that should not be measured in percentage terms, according to one of Scotland's leading secondary heads.

Isabelle Boyd, head of Cardinal Newman High in Bellshill, who was made a CBE for her services to education and served on the McCormac review of teacher employment, told a conference on devolved school management that heads wanted power at school level to use their resources in a way that best suited their community.

Her school had been part of the Schools of Ambition programme, run by the Labour-LibDem Scottish Executive, which gave schools selected for their capacity to change pound;100,000 per year for three years.

It had been successful because it offered autonomy over the use of that financial resource, but with that freedom came accountability, she said.

In the wider context of devolved school management, she, as a headteacher, did not want responsibility for direct employment of people, building control or legal matters.

"I want to be able to retain a clear focus on improving outcomes for young people. The clue is in the title - headteacher," said Mrs Boyd.

She would like school budgets delivered over three years so they were a closer match to improvement plans and greater freedom to move money from one budget line to another.

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