|• How are these secondary schools using their greater responsibilities over educational resources?|
|• What are the characteristics of the decision-making processes which relate resources to learning?|
|• How is the exercise of these responsibilities linked to the standard and quality of learning in the schools?|
In this chapter, our purpose is to draw upon the information collected from the 18 schools to provide a summary conclusion to those questions. We begin with a descriptive section which shows the diversity of ways in which these schools have actually used their new responsibilities. While these are all cases identified at greater length in the previous four chapters, our summary shows clearly the breadth of opportunities and actions taken as a result of the local management and grant maintained initiatives. This is followed by a section analysing how the effects on learning are assessed and we examine the language used by our interviewees to describe the contribution of specific resource decisions to the processes of teaching and learning in their school. We believe this material not only gives us some insights into how resource decisions are assessed in schools but has implications for how schools might improve their management of resources. In the third section we consider the decision-making arrangements in the schools we visited. These are interpreted and explained in the context both of the section on how the effects on learning are assessed and our own argument about the characteristics of a cost-effective school. The whole provides a basis for the final chapter in which we consider the implications of our study for the management of schools and for the policy context in which they are located.