The European Educational Researcher

Investment in Improvement Strategies and Academic Achievement: The Case of Secondary Schools in Kenya

The European Educational Researcher, Volume 3, Issue 2, June 2020, pp. 53-65
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 557 DOWNLOADS: 213 Publication date: 15 Jun 2020
Secondary schools have adopted various strategies in an effort to improve performance. Collaboration and benchmarking are two such strategies. However, schools still continue to post poor grades in national examinations, an indicator that most of the students fail to meet the university cut off mark and thus fail to join university. This raises the question of whether such investment is really justified. This study sought to investigate whether investment in these two practices translated into improved education outcomes as measured by mean scores in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The study adopted correlation research design. From a target of 103 schools in the region involved in collaboration and benchmarking, 31schools were randomly selected. The sample comprised all 31 Directors of Studies and 31principals from the sampled schools. Data were collected using questionnaires with closed and open ended items, and document analysis. Data were analyzed inferentially (PPMCC and Multiple linear regression) using the Predictive Analytical Software (PASW) Version 19.0. The data on open ended items were coded using open coding, categorized and reported verbatim. Findings indicated that, investment in the two strategies significantly improved academic achievement (r=0.822; r2=0.676; adjusted r2=0.603). However, considered independently, investment in collaboration had a much higher impact on academic achievement (r=0.843, r2=0.711; adjusted r2=0.697), compared to investment in benchmarking (r=0.510, r2=0.260; adjusted r2=0.219). It is recommended that, schools should generously and uniformly invest in both collaboration and benchmarking in order to boost academic achievement.  In addition, well endowed schools should be encouraged to share their resources.
Academic achievement, Collaboration, Benchmarking, Investment.
Amunga, J. (2020). Investment in Improvement Strategies and Academic Achievement: The Case of Secondary Schools in Kenya. The European Educational Researcher, 3(2), 53-65.
  1. Aiston, S., Rudd, P.,& O’Donnell, L. (2002). School Partnerships in Action: A Case Study of West Sussex Specialist Schools. (Report No. 36). Slough: NFER.
  2. Amunga, J.,Ondigi, B., Ndiku, J., & Ochieng, P. (2013). Collaboration, benchmarking and secondary schools’ mean scores in the western region, Kenya: An analytical investigation. International Journal of Education and Research, (9), 133-140.
  3. Armstrong, P. (2015). Effective school partnerships and school collaboration for school improvement: a review of evidence.
  4. Atkinson, M., Springate, I., Johnson, F., & Hasley, K. (2007). Inter-school collaboration: A literature review. Slough: NFER.
  5. Bernis, W., & Biederman, P. (1997). Organization genius: The secrets of creative collaboration. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
  6. Bouchamma, Y., Savoie, A., & Basque, M. (2012). The impact of teacher collaboration on school management in Canada. US-China Education Review B5, 485-498.
  7. Darling-Hammond, L., Wei, R., Andree, a., Richarson, N., &Orpanos, S. (2009).State of the profession: Study measures status of professional development. JSD 30(2), 49-50.
  8. Department for Education and Skills (2007e). Teachernet case studies: Fostering global links between London and Ghana.
  9. Department for Education (DfE) (2014a). Maths Hubs: Guidance.
  10. Dillion, P. (2005). Studying and enhancing professional learning community for school effectiveness in Iceland. REICE (1), 1-16.
  11. Gay, R. L. (1983). Educational Research: Competencies for analysis and application (3rded.). Toronto: Merrol Publishing Company, Florida International University.
  12. Hargreaves, D. H. (2010). Creating a Self-improving School System. Nottingham: National College.
  13. Lindsay, G., Arweck, E., Chapman, C., Goodhall, J., Muijs, D., & Harris, A. (2005). Evaluation of the Federations programme: 2nd Interim Report. Warwick: The University of Warwick.
  14. Loveland, T., Miyakawa, H., & Hirayama, Y. (2004). International Collaboration in secondary level education. The Journal of Technology Studies. 10-18.
  15. Lund, H. (1998). Benchmarking in U.K higher education. In A. Schofield (Ed.), Benchmarking in higher education: An international review. Paris: UNESCO.
  16. Massaro, V. (1998). Higher education benchmarking in Australian higher education. In A. Schofield (Ed.), Benchmarking in higher education: An international review. Paris: UNESCO.
  17. Montoyer, R. (2008). Critical successful factors for effective benchmarking. Brussels: Education and Culture D.G.
  18. Moriarty, J. P. (2008). A theory of benchmarking. A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University.
  19. Morris, S. (2007). NCSL/ Kirklees LEArning Project: Developing collegiates
  20. Mugenda, O. M., & Mugenda, A. G. (2003). Research methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Nairobi: Acts Press.
  21. Mutai, B. (2000). How to write a quality research proposal. Edinburg. Thelley Publications.
  22. Rubby, A. (2013). Benchmarking as a driver for change. Benchmarking Governance as a Tool for promoting change,57-66. Retrieved from
  23. Rustena, G., & Hermenelinb, B. (2017). Cross sector collaboration in upper secondary school vocational education: experiences from two industrial towns in Sweden and Norway. Journal of Education and Work, 30 (8), 813-826.
  24. Schenke, W., Driel, J., Geijsel, F., Sligte, H., & Volman, M. (2016). Characterizing cross professional collaboration in research and development projects in secondary education. Teachers and Teaching 22 (5), 553-569. DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2016.1158465
  25. School of Education (2008). School collaboration in Northern Ireland: Opportunities for reconciliation? Belfast: Queen’s University.
  26. Turner, J. (2005). Independent-state school partnerships. Educational Journal, 82, 29-29.
  27. Turner, J. (2004) Building bridges: a study of independent-state school partnerships. Nottingham: National College for School Leadership (NCSL).
  28. Universities UK (2011). Efficiency and effectiveness in higher education: A report by the universities UK Efficiency and Modernization Task Group.
  29. Weindling, D. (2005). Teachers as collaborative professional: A survey of the views of ATL members. London: The Education Union.
  30. Woods, P., Levacic, R., Evans, J., Castle, F., Glatter, R., & Cooper, D. (2006). Diversity and collaboration? Diversity Pathfinders Evaluation Report. Research No. 826. London: Department for Education and Skills.
  31. Woods, C., Armstrong, P., Bragg, D., Collins, A., &Pearson, D. (2010) School Business Manager Demonstration Project Evaluation Study: Final Report. Nottingham: National College for School Leadership (NCSL).
Creative Commons License