Influence of headteachers' leadership styles on students' performance in KCSE in public secondary schools in Tetu district, Nyeri county
Mugo, Evelyne Wakini
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Headteachers' leadership styles are seen in their behaviors and how they interrelate with. teachers, students, parents, and other school staff. If the headteacher has an effective leadership style, he or she can engender a positive climate in the school. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of headteachers' leadership styles on KCSE performance in public secondary schools in Tetu District. The study was guided by three main objectives: to determine leadership styles used by headteachers, to evaluate the effect of headteachers' leadership styles on performance in KCSE by students and to identify challenges faced by head teachers in instructional leadership in public secondary schools in Tetu District. Path-goal theory was reviewed. The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional design and targeted all the headteachers, teachers and Form 3 students in public secondary schools in Tetu District. Using census technique for headteachcrs and random stratified sampling for teachers and students, the researcher sampled 25 headteachers, 70 teachers and 283 form 3 students to participate in the study. Questionnaires were employed in data collection. Qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in data analysis with the help of SPSS version 20. The findings indicated that majority (97%) of the teachers indicated that decisions regarding school progress are solely made by the head of school and the governing body. In addition, 52% of the students indicated that the headteachers did not allow students to choose their own leaders or the chosen ones were rejected. The findings indicated that directive leadership behaviour had a significant effect on school performance. There was significant relationship (P=O.013) where decisions regarding school progress were solely made by the head of school and the governing body and the school performance. Further, there was a negative correlation (r= -0.63, p<0.05) between directive leadership and performance in KCSE where most schools scored D and D- grade. Delayed fees payment (39%), uncooperative parents (23%), and students' indiscipline (20%) were the most cited difficulties facing headteachers in public secondary schools in effecting instructional leadership. The researcher concluded that most secondary schools headteachers in Tetu District practice directive leadership style. The researcher also concluded that the widespread use of directive leadership style is to a large extent responsible for the dismal performance of students in KCSE examinations. The researcher recommended there is need for public secondary schools headteachers in Tetu district to avoid overuse of directive (autocratic) leadership style. The researcher also recommended that there is need for retraining head teachers in public secondary schools in Tetu district in leadership and management.