BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The school head is the executive officer in charge of any post primary instruction, may be a secondary school, a high school technical school, or a combination of all, for this study. Therefore, the word school head principal, will be used. The ultimate task of any school is the achievement of defined goals. Therefore, the principal as the leader is involved in making management decision, formulating rules, maintaining and coordinating all activities to achieve their goals. Itsueli (2000) pointed out that the main purpose of leadership in any organization is that of cooperating efforts of people towards the achievement of its goals. In which case, teaching and learning becomes the central aim while the success or failure is goals attained. The degree of goals attainment therefore, depend on how well the school head is able to act those roles that have been made, in order words, the leadership style adopted.
Kenzevich (2003) identified three main leadership styles in schools namely, the democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire styles of leadership. He further went on to define each of them as follows, that an autocratic leader is one who determines his policies and assigns duties to members of his group without any consultation with them, his words are final and he feels that every member of the group should obey him exceptionally proud and feel very superior. A democratic leader on the other hand is one who takes decisions and formulates his policies only after consulting members of his group. He interacts always with members of his group. The laissez-faire is one who grants complete freedom to members of his group or individuals to take decision without participation. No organization can effectively function if such units are streamlined towards the attainment of the organizational goals. The degree of achievement of those attendance units as viewed in this study is a reflection of the quality of leadership within such a functional unit. The indices for measuring such a success in a attendance could include the standard of students performance in the school certificate examination, the general level of students discipline and the degree to which the school is crisis-free. In essence, this study intends to examine the different leadership style adopted by male and female school heads; it is also designed to measure their success or failure in goal attainment.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In Nigeria today, post-primary administrative structure, regardless of their complexities of organization, exhibit some similarities which may be found in many of the relationships, duties and functions expected of a principal within the school. In Oredo local government, as well as in other parts of Nigeria, the principal in any post-primary school is often seen and perceived by most people as the key person influencing the condition affecting the social relationship within the school. He occupies a unique position in the educational leader and people look up to him for leadership recognizing the fact that the quality of education in school is directly related to his knowledge and still as an education on stimulating people to optimum performance in achieving the institutional goals and objectives. The success or failure of a school depends upon the principal and his success depends on the style of leadership he adopts. Many researchers have shown that the style of leadership offered school makes a lot of difference in attaining the goals of the institution and it is on the basis of this, that one leadership style is preferred to another. Knickerbockers (2009) contend that a goal leader must understand the goals of his establishment and must constantly help to clarity them to his subordinates. He has to encourage individuals to contribute to the success of the organization and must be perceived by his followers as controlling needs. This, a leadership style or method must be developed, such that will lead to the most effective utilization of available resources. Precisely the objectives of study are in four fold which are:- To determine whether the leadership approach of a principal has any effect on the success of failure of a school.To determine the leadership styles peculiar to male and female principals.To also determine the leadership style that is suitable to the success of a school To identity the different leadership style.