Exploring the leadership practices of a novice principal: a case of a secondary school in Suba sub- country, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Abdalla Mohamed

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Shelley Jones


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The study sought to explore the leadership practices of a novice principal in a public secondary during the two year period after appointment. This was motivated by the problem of principals being demoted every year in secondary schools occasioned by demands for good performance in schools. The study employed a qualitative approach using a case study design. A novice principal, deputy principal, Board of Management chairperson, six teachers and six parents were selected as participants in this study. Data was collected using one-one semi structured interviews and focus group discussions. A digital audio recorder was used to record the interviews and the focus group discussions. The audio recorded data were transcribed, read, re-read and coded to develop themes. The findings from data analysis revealed that a novice principal enacts leadership practices that promote effective teaching and learning like: setting directions, developing people, improving physical conditions for learning and refining the school. The study also revealed that a novice principal engage in the practices of improving the quality of the staff and creation of flexible conditions conducive to parents in terms of paying school fees as key to successful leadership during this period. The recommendations of the study may be useful to sub-county and county educational leaders in planning for professional support to novice principal. The teachers Service Commission may also find these practices as pertinent in the preparing teachers wishing to take up leadership positions in future as well as continuous professional support to novice principals.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library