The poor functioning of a large number of the black schools and the urgent need to transform them was identified as a problematic phenomenon particular to post apartheid South Africa. Notwithstanding various government interventions/initiatives (COLTS, Tirisano, Call to Action, Batho-Pele) for the improvement of schools aimed at correcting this situation, many schools remain dysfunctional and/or operate within a negative culture of teaching, learning and services. The purpose of the study was to determine whether or not the adoption of a TQM philosophy that complemented previous interventions could rectify the current situation. To this end, an exhaustive literature review was conducted on COLTS, Tirisano and TQM prior to and during the empirical survey of dysfunctional schools in District D3 - Tshwane-North schools. The empirical design is eclectic in the sense that it includes both qualitative and quantitative elements. Survey questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and unstructured observation were used to collect data in a case study of the District D3-Tshwane North schools, a triangulation process that enhanced the reliability and validity of the research findings. Emerging from the survey and the literature review was the need for a different intervention strategy, one that would accommodate differences in and between schools rather than assuming the appropriateness of a ‘one size fits all’ intervention model. Based on the research findings emerging from the literature review and empirical survey it was concluded that such a model should be integrated into a TQM intervention framework that would be flexible enough to accommodate differences in schools with regard to contexts, needs, strengths and weaknesses. Drawing role players into new managerialism - and so into the new episteme may enhance the improvement of schools. The primary outcome of this research project, and the contribution made to new knowledge in the field, is the development of such an integrated framework, one which is not only theoretically sound but one which has been customised for South African conditions.