Profiling headteachers’ competencies in primary schools in Taita-Taveta County, Kenya: identifying the gaps

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Wachira

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Abdalla Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Educational institutions, both public and private, demand for improved performance in terms of effective school management. The question to ask is: do the primary school head teachers (HTs) possess the requisite competencies in order to ensure that the most effective and efficient results that will help in gaining and sustaining competitive advantage for their schools are achieved? Therefore, the purpose of this study was to profile HTs competencies in primary schools in Taita-Taveta County in Kenya, in order to identify the gaps in performance in management. A quantitative research design was adopted for the study, with a survey being the instrument used for data collection, and 100 HTs were sampled for the study. The findings of the study were analysed guided by the National Professional Qualification for Headship (Bush, 2013) competency model. The findings indicate that HTs as a group lacked 70% of the competencies they are expected to have in terms of strategic leadership, educational excellence and operational management. Furthermore, the study revealed that there is a positive relationship between competency development and the experience an individual has. Conversely, there is a negative relationship between competency and one’s qualification. Thus, these findings will be useful to quality assurance officers in Taita-Taveta County in designing an in-service training programme for HTs so as to address the competency gaps identified by the study. The implication of the gaps in this study is that HTs in Taita-Taveta County are unable to effectively manage their schools, leading to poor school management. Therefore, for effective school management, these gaps must be addressed through appropriate HT management training. Consequently, a policy on continuous HT management training is recommended and implications for the gaps in the school management are discussed.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library