Keith Barker, Headteacher of Queensbury School in Dunstable, describes his school’s first attempts at managing its own budget. Queensbury School became grant-maintained in September 1989 and, as Bedfordshire was not involved in the LMS pilot schemes, there was no such experience within the school. The school’s main source of funding, the annual maintenance grant, was based on the school’s historical costings and there was considerable dispute over it between the LEA and the school.

Keith Barker writes an honest account of the difficulties and issues that concerned him and his governors at this time, as well as indicating the changes that they have made in the light of this experience.