Muia Patricia Nthoki


The thrust of this study is to examine the influence of head teachers’ leadership styles (autocratic, democratic & laissez- faire) on pupils’ academic performance at Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in Mbooni Division, in Makueni County, Kenya. This study is guided by four research objectives: i. Sought to establish the extent to which head teachers’ autocratic leadership style influence pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. (ii) Examine whether Democratic and Autocratic leadership styles have different influences on pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. iii. To determine whether laissez-faire, Democratic and Autocratic leadership styles have different influences on pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. iv. Identify how many head teachers use each type of leadership style (Autocratic, Democratic and laissez-faire) respectively that influences pupils’ performance at KCPE examinations. The study targeted 63 public primary schools in the Division. A sample of 30 schools was selected using Stratified random sampling technique. The study employed descriptive research design. Questionnaires and Document Analyses were used to collect data for the study. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. In descriptive statistics, frequencies, percentages, means, variance, and standard deviations were calculated, and presented in tables and graphs. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation of Coefficient was done testing at alpha value 0.05 and multiple regression analysis for Variance was used for research objectives one, two and three. Chi Square test was used on research question four.  The study findings revealed that autocratic leadership style have significant influence of positive 0.16*, and is practiced by 5 out of 30 head teachers representing 16.7%. Majority of the head teachers’ 24 out of 30 practice democratic leadership style representing 80% with positive influence though not significant. Laissez faire is practiced by header teacher out of 30 representing 3.3% with a negative influence and not significant. Therefore, influence of head teachers’ leadership styles towards pupils’ KCPE performance contribute 22%. The remaining 78% which  influence pupils’ academic performance at KCPE is not yet clear and are varied; this could be motivational levels of teachers and instructional materials among others which this study suggest for further research. This study recommends that, the Government of Kenya and MoE to restructure leadership courses in teacher training institutions to enhance the establishment of effective leadership practices among teacher trainees in the 21st century schools’. Further, Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) to organize capacity building programs to empower practicing primary schools’ head teachers on the most effective leadership styles. 


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



primary schools’ head teachers, influence of leadership styles, pupils’ KCPE academic performance, Makueni County, Kenya


Akomolafe, C. O. (2014). Principals’ leadership capacities as perceived by teachers in secondary schools in Ekiti State Nigeria. European Scientific Journal. Volume.8, No.22

Bowring-Carr, C: West-Burnham, J. (1999) Effective Learning in Schools. How to Integrate Learning and Leadership for a Successful School. London. Pearson Education.

Davis, J. A. (1971). Elementary Survey Analysis. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Dohertly, G.D. (1994). Developing Quality Systems in Education. London: Routledge.

Duke, D. (1987). School Leadership and Instructional Improvement. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from http://www.cepa.gse.educ/schoolleadership.pdf.

Charlesworth, R. (2004). Understanding Child Development (6th ed.). New York: Delmar learning, Division of Thomas learning, Inc.

Education for All Global Monitoring Report, (2005). Education for all: the quality imperative. Paris: UNESCO.

Education for All Global Monitoring Report, (2009). Overcoming inequality: why governance matters. Paris: UNESCO.

Education for All Global Monitoring Report, (2013). Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all. Paris: UNESCO

Enggelbrecht, P: Oswald, M: Forlin, C. (2006). Transforming Schools Using the Index for Inclusion in South Africa. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from

Griffith, J. (2004). Relation of principal transformational leadership on school staff job satisfaction, staff turnover, and school performance. Journal of Educational Administration, 42(3), 333-356.

Hallinger, P. (2005). Instructional leadership and the school principal: A passing fancy that refuses to fade away. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 4, 221-239.

Hemphil,A.(1957).Leadership Behavior Descriptive Questionnaire. Retrieved January2, 2012, From http://www.cel.purdueca/:edu/content//bdintro.htm

Huka, M.D. (2003). “A Study of Head Teachers’ Management Styles and Performance of KCSE Examination in Mandera District.” Unpublished M. Ed Project, University of Nairobi.

Kabuchi, S. N. (2010). Influence of Head teachers’ leadership styles on pupils’ performance at Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in West lands District. Unpublished M. Ed project, University of Nairobi.

Kearney, K. (2010). Effective principals for California schools: Building a coherent leadership development system. San Francisco: WestEd.

Kellaghan, T & Grisay, A. (2001). Using Assessment to Improve Quality of Education. Paris: UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning.

Kendra, C. (2011). Leadership Styles. Retrieved October, 20,2011,from

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. J. (2002). Leadership challenges (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey- Bass.

Leithwood, K.A & Rievil, C. (2003). What We Know About Successful School Leadership. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from http://www.Cepa.gse.educ/whatweknow.pdf.

Macbeath, J & Myers, F. (1999). Effective School Leaders, How to Evaluate and Improve Your Leadership Potentials. London: Pearson Education.

Mascall, M.B. (2003), Leaders Helping Teachers Helping Students: The Role of Transformational Leaders in Building Teacher Efficacy, Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, OISE/University of Toronto.

Ministry of Education, (2012). Task force on the re-alignment of the education sector to the constitution of Kenya (2010): Towards a globally competitive quality education for sustainable development. Report of the task force February 2012.

Moore, B. (2009a). Emotional intelligence for school administrators: A priority for school reform? American Secondary Education, 37(3), 20-28.

Muli, M. M. (2005). “Effects of Head Teachers’ Management Styles on Performance in Physics in Mutomo Division, Kitui District.” Unpublished M .Ed Project, University of Nairobi.

Muricho, P. W. & Chang’ach, J. S. (2013).Educational Reforms in Kenya for Innovation. International Journal for Humanities and Social SciencesVol3 No.9.

Mwanik, K., & Orodho, J. A. (2016). Critical Home-based Challenges Inhibiting Effective Participation of Pupils in Rural Public Primary Schools in Narok North Sub-County, Narok County, Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice, Vol.7, No.10.

Okoth, U. A. (2000).”A Study of the Effects of Leadership Styles on Performance in KCSE Examination in Nairobi Province.” Unpublished M. Ed Thesis University of Nairobi.

Okumbe, J. A. (1998). Educational Management: Theory and Practice. Nairobi: Nairobi University Press.

Orodho, J. A. (2005). Techniques of Writing Research Proposals and Reports in Education and Social Science (2nd Ed). Nairobi: Bureau of Educational Research Kenyatta University

Parale, S.M. (2002). Factors Influencing Leadership Styles in Baringo Secondary Schools. Unpublished M. ed Thesis, Kenyatta University.

Polit, D. F., & Hungler, B. P. (1995). Nursing Research: Principles and Methods (5th ed.). Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company.

Republic of Kenya, MOEST (2005). Financial Management Training Manual for Primary Schools, Nairobi: Government Printer.

Republic of Kenya. (2007). The Kenya Vision 2030: Nairobi: Government Printer.

Robinson, V. M. J., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on school outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(5), 635-674.

Ross, J. A. & Gray, P. (2006). Transformational leadership and teacher commitment to organizational values: The mediating effects of collective teacher efficacy. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 17(2), 179–199.

Saxe, D. (2011). Relationship between transformational leadership and emotional and social competence of the school leader. Dissertation paper 63.

Soder, R & Andrew, R. (1987). Principal Instructional Leadership and Student Achievement. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from

Stone, A. G. & Patterson, K. (2005). The History of Leadership Focus, School of leadership studies Regent University.

Sub-county Education Director (2012). Mbooni West Sub-county KCPE results analysis report Mbooni: Unpublished Report.

Sub-county Quality Assurance and Standards Officer (2012). Mbooni West Sub-county KCPE results analysis report Mbooni: Unpublished Report.

Thomas, J. R., & Nelson, J. K. (1996). Research Methods in Physical Activity (3rd Ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetic.

Wango, G. (2010). School Administration and Management: Quality Assurance and Standards in Schools. Nairobi: The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation.

Waters, J. T. & Marzario, R. J. (2006). School District leadership that Works.

Retrieved January 30, 2012, from

Wiliams, J. D. (1999). Monitoring School Performance; A Guide for Educators. Washington: The Falmer Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Muia Patricia Nthoki

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).