A Primer on
School-Based Management
Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA)
Department of Education (DepED)


The Department of Education has stepped up its efforts to decentralize education management - a strategy that is expected to improve the Department's operating efficiency and upgrade education quality.

We are now accelerating the implementation of School-Based Management (SBM), a key component of Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda or BESRA. With SBM, the school as key provider of education, will be equipped to empower its key officials to make informed and localized decisions based on their unique needs toward improving our educational system.

This Primer has been produced as a tool to help educators manage and run our schools efficiently and effectively. It highlightgs the strategic importance of educating our children and other stakeholders in participating in educational activities. This emphasis will make the task of our school heads and teachers easier, as the community will be one with them in their efforts to improve the school.

The content of this Primer has been developed and prepared with the participation of education specialists who have practical and diverse experiences in their field. The concepts have been pilot-tested in several projects such as the Third Elementary Education Project (TEEP), the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP), Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) and Strengthening the Implementation of Basic Education in the Visayas (STRIVE). The projects have created tremendous positive changes and improvement in the schools. After being tried out in project sites, the concepts were further validated by school heads in remote schools. I can say with full confidence that these concepts have been tried, tested and passed strict scrutiny.

In implementing SBM, the Department is doing all it can to create an environment where all the people involved commit to make change happen under a decentralized setup. This change is ultimately geared towards the school children's enjoyment of their right to quality education and other equally important rights such as the right to be safe and healthy, to be protected from harm and abuse, to play and to have leisure, to express their views freely, and to participate in decision-making according to their evolving capacities.

For this new setup to succeed, our principals and teachers need to develop their people skills and managerial capabilities. They have to be empowered to be catalysts for for change in our schools.

Let me encourage you to understand well the Primer and own its concepts and principles. Be empowered to strengthen partnerships, engage education stakeholders and produce graduates who are fully equipped for the 21st century.

Department of Education


This Primer aims to help school heads understand the basic tenets of School-Based Management and consequently gain greater confidence as practicing, hands-on school-based managers.


Ø Empowered schools
Ø Pro-active school heads
Ø Innovative teachers
Ø Engaged community stakeholders
Ø Improved student academic performance and psycho-social growth

This is the vision of the Department of Education (DepEd) for schools in the country. This is the essence of School-Based Management (SBM), a strategy which paves the way for quality education and holistic development for our school children.

What is School-Based Management?

School-Based Management is the decentralization of decision-making authority to schools. At the school level, schools heads, teachers, and students work together with community leaders, and local government officials and other stakeholders to sbm1.jpgimprove school performance.

Specifically, SBM aims to:

Empower every schools to continuously improve its performance in attaining desired outcomes for students;

Engage stakeholders in shared decision-making;

Lead the school staff, together with other stakeholders in identifying and addressing school issues and concerns that affect student outcomes;

Create support network of community-based stakeholders that will mobilize social, political, cultural and economic resources; and

Make stakeholders accountable for school performance and student outcomes.

Legal Bases of SBM

The importance of SBM in improving learning outcomes has been emphasized in different legal documents and issuances.

Ø The Local Government Code of the Philippines (R.A. 7160) enables communities to be more effective partners in the attainment of national goals.
Ø The Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP 2004-2010) requires localized educational management that would enable schools to focus on enhancing initiative, creativity, innovation and effectiveness.
Ø Governance of Basic Education Act (R.A. 9155) emphasizes decentralization of school governance.
Ø Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) provides a package of policy reforms focused on Key Reform Thrusts (KRTs). KRT I deals on continuous school improvement through active involvement of stakeholders. It is anchored on the principle that those who are directly involved in and affected by school operations are in the best position to plan, manage and improve the school.
Ø The Schools First Initiative (SFI) of 2004 empowers educational leaders and stakeholders to focus on school improvement and total well-being of school children.sbm2.jpg


School-Based Management is enhanced management of schools. It is characterized by:

Shared VisionIt is the collective dream of major stakeholders for the school. It is the unifying and sustaining factor that upholds the values, beliefs and culture of the school community. it is the core message and establishes the principle of high performance for learners.

Shared MissionIt is the commitment to pursue necessary tasks in realizing the vision. A shared mission drives the team to undertake actions to effect planned improvements.

Shared Decision Making it means ownership of decisions by a team of stakeholders. It is an effort to transform conventional school organizations into pro-active Learning Communities (LCs). These LCs are thus empowered to make decisions that would strengthen the teaching and learning processes.

Collaborationit is the joint effort of stakeholders in working together toward improving learning outcomes.

Autonomyit means stakeholders are free to govern the school as mandated by R.A. 9155, subject to a set of implementing rules and regulations of the Department of Education. Others call this decentralization.sbm_3.jpg

AccountabilityIt is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for all actions, decisions, policies, outputs and outcomes.

Community Ownership or Shared Governanceit means the forging of partnership among stakeholders to address the needs and concerns of the schools most especially those that directly affect learner’s welfare.

Transparencyit means an open presentation to stakeholders of school accountabilities such as fiscal and material resources as well as school records among others.

Six Dimensions of SBM

School-based management has six dimensions as follows:

1. School Leadership

Every school must be led by a school head. He/She is expected to provide strong, dynamic, innovative and competent leadership in promoting and sustaining quality education.

2. Internal Stakeholders
Internal stakeholders are the school heads, teachers, students and parents of students and their associations who directly work for the improvement of school performance. Their inputs about the school’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities are necessary in the agenda for school improvement.

3. External Stakeholders

External stakeholders are composed of community members, people from non-governmental organization or NGOs, and the local government officials who have a stake in the education of the children. Their participation in the strategic planning for school improvement and attainment of learning outcomes is crucial. Aside from helping generate additional resources for the formulation and implementation of the School Improvement Plan, they should also be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of learning outcomes.

4. School Improvement Process

The School Improvement Process puts in place a continuing systematic method of upgrading the delivery of educational services at the school level. It involves analysis of school needs, planning and implementing appropriate actions. It calls for a mechanism that would ensure accessibility to quality education. It also involves comparing and analyzing one’s practices with other SBM practitioners in the country.

5. Resource Management

Allocating, sourcing and managing resources is a major dimension of SBM. Resources could be human, material and financial which are necessary for school operation. With so much to do and with very limited resources, the need for resource generation, its judicious allocation and utilization is imperative. Financial resources of schools may come from the General Appropriations Fund, regular Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), local government allocation, Special Education Fund (SEF), community contributions, grants and other income-generating projects.

6. Performance Accountability

The school heads’ periodic reporting to stakeholders of school performance especially learning outcomes of students is crucial. Communicating the school’s real situation such as learning outcomes, financial status, issues and concerns would generate more support from the external stakeholders for the School Improvement Plan.


Improved learning outcomes is the ultimate objective of school-based management. To achieve this goal, a three-scale of SBM Practice has been devised.

Strategies of Change in SBM

The real spirit of decentralization calls for the strengthening of the school support system through the mobilization of stakeholders. It entails school improvement planning and implementation, fund management, monitoring and evaluation, among others. Decentralization requires strengthening of stakeholders’ participation and understanding of their roles, functions, and responsibilities to carry out educational programs, projects and services for better student outcomes.

Continuous Process of Improvement

The school needs to continuously improve through assessment of its level of SBM practice along the six dimensions. Management system in schools is anchored on the framework of these six dimensions of SBM. These dimensions guide stakeholders in their commitment to support change efforts towards achieving the desired outcomes.

Progression in the scales of SBM practice is achieved as specific milestones in SBM dimensions are realized.

School Governance
This is a system which operates under the principle of shared responsibility and accountability among stakeholders. School Governance is operationalized through the organization of the School Governing Council (SGC)

The SGC creates a safe, equitable and a flexible learning environment based on the needs of the students, teachers and the community. Within the framework of SBM, the school through the SGC has the prerogative to develop learning materials and introduce learning innovations to address poor pupil performance and high dropout rate. Thus, the SGC assumes full authority, responsibility, and accountability for the education of the students.

Structures and Roles

Organizational structures provide the support mechanism to guide the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of various school programs. Both internal and external stakeholders are responsible for the successful turnout of efforts for school improvement that leads to better student outcomes.

Support System

A key to the success of SBM is the support system provided by the Department of Education, Regional, Division, and District Offices. The system facilitates an environment of trust and confidence in all schools.

All levels of the Department have important roles and functions that support the collaborative work with schools. All efforts are unified and focused on quality teaching and learning programs

The support system also addresses teachers’ needs for basic instructional equipment and materials that could make the learning environment conducive to the development of students’ full potential.


SBM has been piloted in the projects implemented in selected regions and divisions in the country. Examples of these projects are the Third Elementary Education Project (TEEP), the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP), Basic Education Assistance in Mindanao (BEAM) and Strengthening the Implementation of Basic Education in the Visayas (STRIVE).


“More than one week before classes start,
I am confident that the school is ready for the new school year,
thanks to the cooperation of my community”.

Ms. Aida Aribal
Barobo National High School
Surigao del Sur (three time winner of the National Award for Outstanding Brigada Eskwela)

“Decentralization effectively gave stronger responsibilities to school heads.
The trend I see is how school heads are sharing the responsibility to run the
schools with parents and the community,
particularly in seeing to it that school facilities
and learning materials are adequate”.

Mrs Aleli R. Abne,
Schools Division Superintendent
Division of Negros Oriental

Through the decentralization program of DepEd,
I was given freedom t implement the
interventions that improved our MPS”.

Margarita P. Tuzon
Principal II
Matalam National High School

Aside from these testimonies, the outstanding performance of other schools have been documented.

Limasawa national High School, Division of Southern Leyte, Region VIII had only one classroom left when it was ravaged by a typhoon. But Principal Alicia Paganpang tapped local resources such as the local government units, the PTCA and private individuals. Together with a grant from a German foundation she was able to rebuild the school.

The school also got an MPS of 77.41 compared to the national average of 44.33 in the National Achievement Test in 2005-2006.

When Anita Gundayao, Principal of Mayoyao Elementary School, Division of Ifucago, Cordillera Adminstrative Region, assumed office, the achievement rate of the Grade VI students was 39. she presented the problem to the parents who agreed to hold Saturday remedial classes. Some of the parents were tapped to tutor the kids who needed one-on-one coaching. Three years later, the school reaped the benefits of their efforts when they posted a 79 percent achievement rate.

There are many more inspiring stories of SBM practicing schools. All these prove that SBM is an effective way for schools to improve the delivery of quality education.