Schools’ engagement in strategic planning: a comparative study

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Musa Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Strategic planning as an initiative to improve leadership and management of secondary schools has attracted attention in Kenya. What is striking though is how little systematic research has been undertaken to show schools’ experiences with strategic planning given that this is a new innovation. Anecdotal evidence indicates that while some schools have successfully engaged in strategic planning, others are still struggling. Many studies have been conducted on strategic planning in schools in the developed world. However, experiences with strategic planning are context specific. This research, therefore, sought to find out how two secondary schools in Kenya have engaged in strategic planning. It aimed to explore the factors that have facilitated some schools to successfully engage in this process, while others fail. The study employed a qualitative multiple case design with two schools and 47 participants. Data was collected through interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis. Findings reveal that awareness and knowledge on strategic planning, strategic leadership, availability of financial resources and training support facilitated some schools to successfully engage in strategic planning. Further, findings show that lack of knowledge on strategic planning, centralized, bureaucratic and hierarchical leadership styles, inadequate financial resources and insufficient training and professional support have hindered some schools from successfully engaging in strategic planning. The study calls for professional development for school leaders and quality assurance officers to equip them with necessary skills on how to conduct successful strategic planning in schools. Further, the study recommends that the Ministry of Education should enhance resourcing and capitation for public schools to enable them successfully implement the planned strategic actions.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library