University of Sussex
Adu, Stephen.pdf (2.81 MB)

The role of headteacher leadership and community participation in public school improvement in Ghana

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posted on 2023-06-09, 00:16 authored by Stephen Adu
School improvement in public schools remains a challenge in many developing countries, including Ghana. Many researchers have highlighted the need for strong headteacher leadership and the active participation of the community, including parents, in the efforts to improve public schools. Research in developed countries? education systems have brought to the surface some of the factors underpinning successful public schools, however in developing countries there has been a lack of research surrounding how headteacher leadership and community engagement with schools affect schooling outcomes. This lack of research has resulted in the use of recommendations tendered by global research regarding school effectiveness and school improvement to inform developing country policies on how to improve public education. In many cases, private schools have been used as the model for failing public schools, yet from national basic education certificate examinations (WAEC, 2012) it is evident that some public schools, even in disadvantaged areas, are managing to provide quality education. The key questions that this thesis explores are: What conditions prevail in high performing public schools serving disadvantaged communities? What has been the role of headteacher leadership and community participation in securing improvement of these schools? Thus, this study has sought to investigate the conditions prevailing in high performing public schools and what role school headteachers leadership and community engagement played in creating the environment conducive to effective teaching and learning. Using a qualitative case study research design data was collected through interviews, observations and documentary reviews to explore the views and experiences of headteachers, teachers and parents regarding the improvements in the schools. Results show that conditions, such as the existence of safe and protective classroom infrastructures, critical engagement of parents and community members in all aspects of the school?s development, adoption of diverse proactive teaching and learning approaches; and the strong visionary and transformational leadership exhibited by the headteachers appear to have been driving forces in these successful schools. The thesis concludes with key recommendations for policy makers in developing countries on strategies that might be taken to turn failing public schools into more functioning schools. These recommendations include: • Targeting the beneficiaries of capitation grant to needy students or increasing the grant • Providing school infrastructure to take the burden from schools • Encouraging community participation in school improvement strategies • Enhancing competencies of headteacher leadership to influence school improvement strategies


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