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HMRC internal manual

VAT Education Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Local authority (LA) schools: purchases by governors

Under section 49(5) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (SSFA), governors act as agent of the local authority when they pay for these goods and services using money from:

  • the school’s delegated budget; or
  • amounts the school receives from local authority central funds for specific purposes.

Delegated budget

The delegated budget covers items such as:

  • equipment; and
  • salaries

and the governors are free to spend it for the purposes of the school as they see fit.

Local authority central funds

Local authority central funds cover items such as:

  • capital expenditure;
  • special needs provision; and
  • home-to-school transport.


Governors do not act as agent of the local authority in respect of loans that they take out and repay using funds obtained from the local authority.