Financial management in primary schools has changed in the UK with the introduction of the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS). There is increasing delegation of financial responsibility to the management team in the school, increasing the role of the head teacher and the governing body as part of overall responsibility for the strategic direction of the school. This article draws on contemporary research from three case studies within one local authority based on interviews with three stakeholders: the head teacher; a member of the finance sub-committee of the governing body; and a local authority finance officer. Evidence is presented of how financial management responsibility is discharged and on the relationship between the three parties. It is found that financial management is increasingly being prescribed without clear guidelines. The article presents some implications and recommendations for governance arrangements, including consideration of how financial management might be made more effective.