One of the interesting exercises around the budget is the consultation with various groups affected by the budget. Friday was the Unions, Monday was the Community/Voluntary/Non-Statutory/Not for profit/Social Enterprise sector.
These have been useful exercises although relatively easy this year because the budget is generally good news for everyone.
One issue that arose during this was the "Schools Forum". This is another body established by the government which has a statutory postion, but is not directly elected. In this instance, however, I think the processes have been set up properly and the Schools Forum acts to replace the discretion of the Secretary of State for Education.
One of its key roles is to deal with disputes as to how much Education funds will be kept centrally and how much sent to schools for each LEA.
The interesting question for the moment is what the government will do with schools funding with the Education Bill. The theory of the bill is that school funding will be by a specific grant. The problem for the government is then they are deciding precisely how much to fund each group of schools. This means they end up taking the flack for discrepancies. How they will handle this is not clear so I expect they will just sidestep the issue.