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School-based Professional Support (SBPS) Programmes



          In July 2004, the then Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) set up the Education Development Fund (EDF) with a grant of $550 million approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council.  The purpose of the EDF is providing schools with professional support and enlarging their capacity to take forward education reform measures.

Aims and Goals

          With the various education reform initiatives put in place since 2000, we have witnessed the aspiration and achievement of schools in taking forward the initiatives.  Some schools however experience more constraints and pressure.  They will benefit from more targeted support at the school level to help them connect and implement the various elements of the education reform.  In this regard, we have planned a series of school-based support programmes with a view to:




clarifying and reinforcing schools’ understanding of the reform aims and the  connection of the different elements and components;



helping schools prioritise reform initiatives at the school level and refocus staff’s time and effort on essential activities through rigorous school development planning and school self-evaluation;



building schools’ professional capacity (including subject knowledge and pedagogical skills) in Key Learning Areas (KLAs) so as to maximize the effectiveness of learning and teaching; and



providing professional support tailored to schools’ identified needs.



Guiding Principles

          The primary aim of the SBPS programmes is to empower frontline educators to take forward the education reform initiatives in a strategic manner.  Opportunities for professional development and a wide range of support programmes will be offered in a coordinated and coherent manner to address the unique needs of individual schools.  We are conscious of the importance of not increasing the workload of teachers.  The underlying principles for the implementation of the SBPS programmes are:



  bureaucracy light – minimizing red tape and paper work;


  coherent and focused – reducing burden by concentrating on the essential issues; and


  result-oriented – data-driven, evidence-based; setting targets and aiming for results.


Implementation Details               

          The SBPS programmes fall into five areas - Principal Support Network , School Support Partners , Professional Development Schools , University-School Support Programmes and Collegial Participation in External School Review .  We have built on the successful experiences gained from some school-based support programmes which have been field-tested and have proven track records.

          The pace and scale of the support programmes to be provided to schools will be driven by the identification of school needs and by the availability of professional expertise, in terms of principals, teachers and academics, to meet these school needs.  Drawing on the knowledge and experiences gained, we continuously improve the support programmes and develop new modes of support which will suit schools’ needs.

Concerted Efforts
Role of Schools  

          For sustainable self-improvement and development, schools are expected to play a leading role in implementing their school plans with respect to the key issues identified in the school development planning process. During the process, schools have to plan for their development in accordance with their teachers’ readiness, students’ characteristics and the school conditions.   The various types of plans should be coherent and inter-connected with the key areas of concern.  Schools should provide support to their teachers, who are the key internal change agents, and ensure a high level of their participation in the process.  Schools should also spare no efforts to develop their staff’s professional competencies and skills for enhancing the quality of education, as well as to foster a learning culture towards the development of schools as learning communities.  In this regard, schools are urged to take the opportunity to tap the vast pool of professional expertise made available through the SBPS programmes as outlined above.

Role of Tertiary Institutes  

          The relationship between tertiary institutes and schools has gone beyond merely taking the former as training ground for teachers.  Under the SBPS programmes, there are avenues for academics’ participation in various programmes, especially the USP.  Through their participation, they will be able to provide leadership in various curriculum areas and with teachers’ experiment in new teaching/learning approaches.  In turn, teachers, from the vantage point of work in schools, can provide valuable insights and input into the academic research work.

Role of EDB

          Various divisions/sections of EDB have offered schools a wide range of support programmes and measures,  f or instance, providing diversified measures to support schools on school-based curriculum development (primary and secondary), language learning support services, Native-speaking English Teachers (NET) Scheme, gifted education, etc.  The SBPS programmes are not meant to replace the existing support services offered by various divisions/sections of EDB.  We aim to enhance schools to gather further momentum towards education reform through the SBPS programmes.

            To minimize red tape and paper work, SDOs will take the initiative to serve as the brokers of these SBPS programmes.  SDOs will first of all take stock of the needs of those schools under their ambit. They will then match the schools’ needs with the available support services currently provided by various divisions/sections of EDB and those new programmes offered under the SBPS.  In this regard, SDOs will make reference to a central record of the support services received by schools and coordinate across divisions/sections of EDB.



1.  Circular Memorandum 239/2004: Implementation of the School-based Professional Support (SBPS) Programmes - issued on 4 October 2004


Q & A  PDF Chinese Version Only  (60KB)

Executive Summary of the External Review of School-based Professional Support Programmes financed by Education Development Fund   PDF  (111KB)


          For enquiry, feedback and suggestion on how to further improve the SBPS programmes, please contact the School-based Professional Support Section at 2152 3227 or 2152 3212.


Last revision date: 24 August 2012
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