SCHOOL HEADS’ LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND SCHOOL CLIMATE AS DETERMINANTS OF PUPILS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN DELTA STATE.
The general purpose of this study was to investigate the school heads skills and school climate that determine academic achievement of public primary school pupils in Delta State. Literature was reviewed under conceptual framework, theoretical framework, related empirical studies and summary of literature reviewed. To guide the study, five research questions were posed and 3 hypotheses formulated. The study adopted correlation research design. The population of the study comprised the primary six pupils in public primary schools in Delta State. The population of the study was 28361 subjects. A multistage proportional 5% sample of the population were used comprising 1040 schoolheads, 700 teachers and 700 pupils selected from a simple random sample of 2 out of 3 senatiruak education zones. The instrument used for data collection was a researcher-developed questionnaire titled leadership skills of the school head and school climate questionnaire (LSSHSCQ) with 60 items. To establish the validity, the instrument was subjected to face-validation by experts. The instrument was given to six experts, four in Administration and Planning in the Department of Educational Foundations, and two in Measurement and Evaluation, from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. And Delta state University Abraka. To ascertain the reliability of the instrument, a trial testing was carried out in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State which is outside the area of this study in order to avoid bias and the reliability estimates obtained were 0.88, 0.80, 0.70, 0.81 and 0.76 while the overall reliability obtained was 0.85. Direct delivery and retrieval method were used to collect data from the respondents with the help of 6 research assistants. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer research question 1 and 2 while Pearson Product Movement Correlation Coefficient was used to answer research question 3, 4 and 5. Linear regression analysis was used to test hypotheses 1 and 2 while multiple regression analysis was used to test hypothesis 3. All the three null hrypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The major findings of the study revealed that the school heads leadership skills that characterize public primary schools in Delta State include transformational; transactional and Liazzez faire leadership skills. Also, there is an indication that there was a significant relationship between school heads leadership skills and pupils’ academic achievement. It was found that there is a significant relationship between school climate and pupils’ academic achievement. Furthermore, the result showed that there exist a positive low relationship between school climate and pupils’ academic achievement in public primary schools in Delta State These results were discussed in relation to previous finings of similar studies and the educational implications of the findings were highlighted. One of the limitations of the study was that only public primary schools in Delta state were studied and cannot be generalized to include private schools, and schools in others states of Nigeria. Also recommendations that school heads should be appointed on the bases of their transformational and transactional leadership skills and not merely on experience or number of years of service were made.