Role of the School Board of Governors in Kenya’s Context

This article explores the role of school board of governors. These include strategic role, setting of the school’s vision and aims, establishing and maintaining school’s ethos(character), Setting of school’s plans and policies and monitoring and evaluating school performance.

Strategic role of school Governors

The Board of Governors (BoG) has an important strategic role to play in the management of the school. This is to help the school principal and staff to provide the best possible education for all of the pupils (Mahoney, 1988). Governors bring their experience, life skills and common sense to this task. The BoG’s aim is to raise expectations of what can be achieved by all pupils and strengthen the involvement of parents and the community at large (Republic of Kenya 1964). This involves setting the school’s vision and aims, establishing and maintaining the school’s ethos, setting the school’s plans and policies, Monitoring and evaluating school performance and promoting self evaluation to sustain the school’s improvement (Kamunge, 2007).

Establishers and Maintainers of the School’s Ethos

The governors and the principal should maintain an ethos for the school that promotes the moral, spiritual, intellectual, social and personal development of all its pupils. The school’s ethos should contribute to the wider goals of the school and be clearly defined and understood by parents, pupils, staff, governors and the local community. It should also be consistent with a commitment to promote equality, good relations and diversity within the school and its community (Kamunge, 2007).

Setters of the school’s plans and policies

Koskei (2004) states that  School Development Plan includes the school’s financial plan, education plans and assessments, where the school’s action plan to address issues identified in a school inspection report, and the school’s policies and priorities are. This provides the strategic framework within which the school Board, the principal and staff can monitor, evaluate and improve the nature of the school’s curricular and other provision and the standards achieved by pupils making efficient use of all the school’s available resources (Dawson, 2008). The drafting of the school’s plans and policies are initially the responsibility of the principal. Consideration and approval of these plans rests with the school Board and is an important responsibility.

Monitoring and Evaluating School Performance

There are many useful ways of measuring performance which take into account the school’s circumstances and seek to measure the value added dimension. The governors, working with the principal, must decide which key indicators they wish to monitor and make arrangements for the principal to provide the appropriate data at suitable times (Kamunge, 2007). The findings of ETI reports also need to be taken into account.  Having measured the school’s performance, the governors should liaise with the principal and staff in drawing up appropriate action plans to move the school forward towards improvement. These should in turn feed into the School Development Plan (Bartol, 1991).


Bartol, K.M. and Martin, D.C. (1991) Management, McGraw Hill.

Dawson H. O. (2008) Involvement of all stakeholders in the managerial efficiency of the schools, Available online at http:www.educa-tionalmedia/fore-ignpress/usa.

Kamunge, J. M. (2007) The Task Force on the Review and Harmonizing of the Legal Framework Governing Education, Training and Re-search,  Nairobi:  Shrend publishers.

Koskei, A. C. (2004) The Role and Competence of Primary School Committees In Management of Primary Schools in Kenya, Unpublished Thesis, MoiUniversity.

Mahoney, T. (1988) Governing Schools: Powers, Issues and Practice, LondonMacmillan Education Ltd.

Republic of Kenya (1964) Kenya Education Commission Report, Nairobi: Government Printers.