Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Wachira

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fortidas Bakuza


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Policy reform initiatives in Kenya, including educational policy reforms, fail to achieve their intended objectives. Written and intended policies are of excellent standards, but they fail to achieve their goals because of implementation pitfalls. The purpose of this study was to explore how the headteachers as Street-Level Bureaucrats (SLB) influence the implementation of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) policy. The study employed a case study approach for in-depth inquiry of the problem. A concurrent mixed-method design where the researcher collected both QUAL and Quan data for analysis. Descriptive statistics was used to describe quantitative data while narrative thematic and descriptions for qualitative data. The researcher assumed that all the respondents gave accurate information about CBC implementation in schools. Findings from the study show that the headteachers adopted coping mechanisms like rationing of resources, routinizing the client interactions by enforcing mass processing of uniformities, and creaming of cases to deal with issues of resource constraints. In addition, the headteachers have discretion to interpret CBC according to the schools’ contextual realities. Additionally, the study established that headteachers experience loose supervision from the management context, giving them the freedom to implement CBC policy as they wish. The findings confirmed the literature that headteachers as SLBs work in constrained environments; therefore, they developed coping strategies informed by their training, qualifications, and experience. Finally, the study contributed to the theory of SLB that contextual realities in the workplace help the SLBs devise coping strategies. The findings suggest that for effective implementation of CBC policy, the agents should provide all the resources, offer tight oversight, and appoint experienced and qualified headteachers to avoid CBC policy infractions. The researcher recommends a similar study with the researcher focusing on how the contextual reality of schools affects the discretion and autonomy of HTs when implementing CBC policy.