The effect of leadership styles of headteachers on the learner’s academic performance in selected public secondary schools of Mpika district.

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Chunda, Racheal
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The University of Zambia
The Headteacher as the chief executive of a school is responsible for the quality of the school. He or she bears the ultimate responsibility for the overall performance, proficiency and effectiveness of the school. His or her role is to promote high academic performance in a school. The success of what is done in the school is partly attributed to the Headteacher. He or she is the pivot around which many aspects of the school revolve, being the person in charge of every detail of running the school, be it academic or administrative. Schools can make a difference to learner achievement and the head teacher’s leadership style is one factor determining that success. It is therefore important that the performance of a school is appraised against the performance of the person who leads it. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of leadership styles of head teachers on the learner’s academic performance in selected public secondary schools in Mpika District. The study attempted to find out the main leadership styles used, the relationship between school head teachers leadership style and the learner’s academic achievement and finally it attempted to establish how leadership style enhances academic performance in schools. The study was qualitative in approach and it used a case study design. The target population was 4 public secondary schools in Mpika District. Schools which had presented learners examination results from 2013 to 2016 were sampled using the purposive sampling design and thus a total of 4 head teachers, 12 teachers and 24 learners were sampled. Two types of research instruments were used in the study to collect data and these were interviews and focus group discussions. Qualitative data was coded using thematic analysis where it was categorized, tabulated and arranged under themes and sub-themes in relation to the main concerns of the entire study. Findings of the study showed that head teachers leadership styles had an effect on learner’s academic performance and no single leadership style is effective unless they are combined. From the findings, the study recommended that head teachers should involve all the stakeholders in decision making, head teachers and teachers should be trained in leadership and teacher training institutions should incorporate it in their curriculum.
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