Unpacking the principal strategies in leveraging weighted student funding

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Weighted student funding (WSF) systems have been implemented in various countries to give schools more autonomy over how to allocate their funding. School principals use funding to maintain school operations and foster innovation for achieving educational goals. However, despite the importance of this process, scholarly research has largely overlooked how principals make decisions about allocating their financial resources. Accordingly, this study seeks to provide practical insights into the strategies used by one school by highlighting their staff’s perceptions about using their WSF to maintain school operations and spur innovation. Using a case study approach, we investigated a principal who effectively used a school’s WSF to transform a failing school into an innovative one. The findings revealed that the principal strategically implemented financial management mechanisms in a way that inspired teachers to consider more profoundly how a school’s WSF can help achieve educational goals. The principal fostered consensus on the school’s direction, encouraged innovation through hands-on experiential learning and strategic planning, and facilitated funding for innovative teachers by guiding proposal development. In the final section of this article, insights into the shifting cultural and practical landscape of financial resource utilization within schools are discussed. Copyright © 2023 by the author.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12592
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


Ho, C. S. M. (2023). Unpacking the principal strategies in leveraging weighted student funding. Sustainability, 15(16), Article 12592. https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612592


  • Weighted student funding
  • School financial management
  • Principal leadership
  • School innovations
  • Failing school


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