Headteachers' professional support for teachers in public secondary schools in Kenya.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Research in education has shown that professional support for teachers by headteachers is crucial for improved student learning outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore how headteachers in public secondary schools in Kenya professionally support teachers. Headteachers and teachers from six public secondary schools in two districts in Westem Province of Kenya were studied using in-depth individual and focus group interviews as well as document analysis. This study reveals that headteachers use professional development as the main method of supporting teachers in public secondary schools to enhance teaching and leaning. They also support teachers by providing them teaching and learning materials, a conducive work environment, work-related information and time for professional development. In addition, adequate funds, academic performance, supportive Board of Governors and teachers' interests facilitate professional support of teachers by headteachers. The most important are the leadership qualities of headteachers in providing a good work environment that offers teachers opportunities for growth. However, inadequate funds, high cost of in-service training. teachers' attitude, inadequate support from the Ministry of Education officials and the school leadership style are factors that inhibit the provision of professional support for teachers by the headteachers. Study findings reveal that if teachers are professionally supported. significant benefits accrue for both teachers and students. Such benefits include: enhanced teacher and student knowledge: improved student performance; and, teachers' career progression. Whereas results show that headteachers in public secondary schools provide a wide range of support to teachers, professional support related to actual classroom teaching was minimal. The findings support the view that teachers who are professionally supported by headteachers contribute significantly to improved student learning outcomes hence. positively enhancing the quality of education offered in schools.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library