The 15 schools discussed in this chapter demonstrate the extent to which the powers granted to schools by LMS and GMS are being used to develop and improve the provision and opportunities for their students. During interviews with over 90 people we were given a wide variety of examples of how the new responsibilities for resource management were being used. Some of these many examples have been organised into four sections, each representing different types of resources: staffing, administration and infrastructure, environment and learning materials. These are followed by a section which examines the use of external sources of funding which are distinct from the school’s basic formula-based budget. It is our assessment that the diversity of these revenue sources constitute, in some degree, innovative practices. We suggest that the greater autonomy and accountability for finance and financial management at the level of the school is contributing to a more entrepreneurial approach, where schools are seeking new sources of funding. In all these five sections we not only cite examples of change but endeavour to report how the schools assessed their effect upon the learning experiences of the students.
These examples of how delegated management is being used is prefaced, however, by an examination of the decision-making processes which link resources to learning in these schools. Our purpose in this section is to illuminate good practice rather than to make over-ambitious claims about explaining complex relationships. This emphasis is all the more important given that here we draw upon information collected by spending a day in each school, the analysis of relevant documents and interviews with about six people in each school. In the concluding section, we reflect on this evidence in terms of our concept of the cost-effective school. A brief biography of all these schools, together with the three case study schools, is provided in the Appendix.