" A study of the headteachers leadership styles on students' discipline in public secondary schools in Kericho district"
Leadership is an important aspect of administration. This is because the success of any organisation depends largely on the chief executive's leadership abilities. Because of the emphasis placed on leadership, many studies have been carried out using different instruments to measure the leadership behaviour and styles of different leaders. In Kenya, very few such studies have been carried out. The study attempted to establish the headteachers' leadership styles on students' discipline in public secondary schools in Kenya and in particular, Kericho District. In order to do this, the perceptions of the headteachers' leadership styles by the headteachers and students were carried out. The study also tried to find out whether such factors as the size of the schools, the qualifications of the headteachers and the category of the schools in terms of the sex of pupils influenced the headteachers' and students' perceptions of headteachers leadership styles and discipline of students The literature review studied revealed that it was difficult to generalise on the best leadership and disciplinary measures for any organisation. This was why the present study proved necessary. Thus the intentions behind this study included giving the headteachers and other interested persons information that would help them understand the kinds of leadership and disciplinary problems found in the Kenya secondary schools. The sample of the study comprised of thirty headteachers and hundred students from thirty public secondary schools in Kericho District. In a pilot study carried out to test the reliability of the research instruments, six headteachers and eighteen students from six other secondary schools in Kericho were used. Randomisation was used as a method of the selection of students and schools. Information was gathered through the subjects' completion of two questionnaires namely; Headteachers' and Students' questionnaires. These questionnaires were personally given to the subjects by the researcher. Headteachers' questionnaire was completed by headteachers to indicate their views of their own leadership styles. Students' questionnaire was completed by students to indicate their views of their headteachers' leadership styles. These instruments were borrowed and modified from Rensis Likert and Jane G. Likert. A general questionnaire was attached to the headteachers' questionnaire to gather information about the respondents' sex, qualifications of headteachers and size of their schools. Respondents were given a period of one week, after which the completed questionnaires were personally collected by the researcher. The few which delayed were addressed and mailed to the researcher. Finances and time constraints limited the study to Kericho District only. The data collected was analysed using qualitative and quantitative statistics. The findings of the study showed: 1. That whereas most headteachers perceived themselves as very democratic leaders, most of their students saw them as merely considerably democratic. 2. That the sex of students influenced the type of indiscipline experienced in different schools 3. That the size of the school influenced the type of indiscipline experienced in different schools. 4. That the sex of headteachers influenced the disciplinary measures they adopted. 5. That the size of the school influenced the disciplinary measures adopted by headteachers. 6. That professional qualifications of headteachers influenced the disciplinary measures adopted. 7. That Graduate/Approved headteachers behaved more democratically in solving disciplinary problems than those with Masters degree in Education 8. That male headteachers behaved more democratically in solving disciplinary problems than female headteachers. After examining the findings, it was concluded that there were differences in the perception of the headteachers ' leadership stvles by headteachers themselves and their students. It was concluded that such factors as the sex of headteachers and students, professional qualifications and size of their schools influenced headteachers' leadership styles and discipline of students. In the light of the findings and conclusions of the study it was recommended that: 1. Efforts be made to have secondary school headteachers take intensive courses in educational administration and leadership either before they are appointed or soon after they are appointed. 2. The government should aim at staffing secondary schools with professional Graduate/Approved headteachers. 3. Professionalism rather than the sex of the individuals should be the guiding factor in the relationship between headteachers and students. 4. Further research on leadership and factors that influence leadership be carried out. 5. Research into factors that cause indiscipline of students and disciplinary measures appropriate be carried out.