Head teacher evaluation and its influence on professional growth: perceptions of public secondary school head teachers, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Head teachers in Kenya are subjected to periodic evaluations. The Quality Assurance and Standards Office undertake whole evaluation every three years, a School Audit is conducted every year and the Teachers Service Commission will evaluate head teacher whenever they are due for promotions. An effective head teacher evaluation results in improvement of performance of both head teachers and the institutions they lead(development), determine the extent to which head teacher performance meets pre-set performance standards (accreditation) and hold head teachers accountable for their actions (accountability).

However, there are no documented studies on the contributions of these evaluations on head teachers’ professional growth. Yet, without professional growth, the quality of school leadership would be negatively affected more so in this era where there is demand for efficiency and effectiveness in school leadership.

The study set to investigate how head teacher evaluations influence their professional growth. To do this, a qualitative study was conducted on fifteen head teachers through group discussion interviews and self administered questionnaires. Relevant documents on head teacher evaluation such as school inspection reports and letters of correspondence between head teachers and their evaluators were analysed.

Findings revealed that head teacher evaluations were summative in nature focusing on accreditation and accountability functions of evaluation. The developmental function was generally not practiced. As such head teacher evaluations only met their professional growth needs in as much as summative evaluations did. This was because formative evaluations which are associated with professional growth did not exist. Consequently, evaluation failed to adequately improve head teachers’ leadership performance. Thus, the study found a shift in policy to embrace formative evaluations and re-training of head teacher evaluators to equip them with relevant evaluations and skills to be necessary. This would enable both the evaluators and evaluations to identify and promptly advice head teachers on desired improvements.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library