Even though government spending on education has increased in recent years, understanding of the role that local and central government has in Nepalese state education is limited. This paper focuses on two secondary schools in Rolpa – one in Liwang, Rolpa’s district headquarters, and one in more rural Budagoan. In both, physical, financial, social and administrative barriers to access have reduced; attendance is improving; and parents are broadly satisfied with the state education on offer. Yet choice, quality, consistency and accountability remain concerns. To that end, three recommendations are proposed. This paper is the third in a series on basic services in Nepal.