Implementing New Funding and Governance Structures in Scottish Schools: Associated Social Risks

Iniobong Enang, Stephen Bailey, Gillian Brydson, Darinka Asenova

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IMPACT: This article assesses possible unintended consequences of a targeted funding model for school education by analysing a Scottish Government policy operationalized via the Pupil Equity Fund (PEF) allocated directly to Scottish schools. Analysis herein reveals implementation of new funding and governance structures within school education may introduce social risks and, in particular, that a targeted policy approach can frustrate a holistic approach and thereby constrain achievement of intended policy objectives. This analysis utilizes a unique read-across between disciplines and contributes to the study of policy-making in public services by exploring contextual risk management frameworks with that of school improvement. 

ABSTRACT: This article examines the implementation of new school funding governance structures and their interaction with social risks, especially reductionism. It extends ongoing discussion in Public Money & Management on risk governance during public service change. It finds case study evidence of reductionism and recommends its management and mitigation through contextually customized policy implementation—holistic in approach and incorporating stakeholders’ input. In so doing, school education services can function as complex adaptive systems proactively responding to social risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-462
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Money and Management
Issue number5
Early online date4 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their feedback, comments, and suggestions which has significantly improved the analysis and discussions within this article. We also acknowledge and are grateful to Glasgow Caledonian University for funding this research project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


Glasgow Caledonian University


  • Adaptive challenges
  • attainment gap
  • complex adaptive system
  • public service reform
  • reductionism
  • school education
  • school governance
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Public Administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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