Examines the construction of the funding formula, following the 1988 Education Act, used to determine the levels of devolved budgets in three English local education authorities (LEAs). Explains that, in each LEA, a team was formed to determine the funding formula. Also explains that, as most schools pre‐local management of schools (LMS) only kept aggregate records showing the cost of education at the levels of primary/secondary sectors rather than individual school level, the LMS teams faced serious problems in defining budget parameters, identifying cost elements and attributing costs to functions. More critically, points out that while the 1988 Education Act made it clear that the new budgeting system should be comprehensive in the sense of not merely reflecting past expenditure patterns but being based on perceived education needs, the LMS teams developed funding formulae which predominantly preserved the status quo established by historical expenditure patterns. Explores both the arguments and the mechanisms which each LMS team deployed in order to produce an incrementalist budgeting system and the constraints that operated on incrementalism.
Edwards, P., Ezzamel, M., Robson, K. and Taylor, M. (1996), "Comprehensive and incremental budgeting in education: The construction and management of formula funding in three English local education authorities", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 4-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513579610129408Download as .RIS
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