Absorbing LMS: The Coping Mechanism of a Small Group
While the original proposals of Local Management of Schools (LMS) had a wide-ranging agenda for management change, the actual outworking has tended to emphasize the management of devolved financial resources. Looks at the way these new financial responsibilities are handled. Empirical insights suggest that the dominant approach is through a small group of staff, invariably dominated by the headteacher, to absorb the management tasks involved. Draws from a wide range of theoretical literature to highlight the nature and function of the small absorbing group. Uses these theoretical insights to inform the empirical analysis which explores the nature and diversity of the small group "doing LMS" in 24 different schools from three local education authorities. Highlights the importance of the headteacher both in the functioning of this small group as well as providing pointers to its underlying character and nature. Presents a range of critical comments about the strengths, weaknesses and dangers of this handling process as well as providing some wider evaluatory points concerning the value of LMS more generally for the education service.