1.1 Background to the Study

The school is the organization charged with the responsibility of bringing about in the students certain cherished values, norms expectations and the development of the society. The accomplishment of these goals to a large extent depends on the various efforts of the groups in the school system namely the Principal, teachers, and the students and even the community all working together in a congenial atmosphere. It is apparent that there exists healthy relationship among these various groups with the effect that everyone puts in his best to realized set goals. It is often common that there could be brooding discontentment, tension, disharmony and uncooperative attitude among these various groups in the school which may impinge on the performances of the teachers thereby making the achievement of the school goals impossible. academic achievement of students especially at the secondary school level is not only a pointer to the effectiveness or otherwise of schools but a major determinant of the future of youths in particular and the nation in general. The medium through which the attainment of individuals and the nation’s educational goals can be achieved is learning. Learning outcomes have become a phenomenon of interest to all and this account for the reason why scholars have been working hard to unravel factors that militate against good academic performance (Aremu & Sokan, 2002). This phenomenon has been variedly referred to in literature as academic achievement, or scholastic functioning. Academic achievement of learners has attracted attention of scholars, parents, policy -makers and planners. Adeyemo (2001) opined that the major goal of the school is to work towards attainment of academic excellence by students. According to him, the school may have other peripheral objectives; emphasis is always placed on the achievement of sound scholarship. Besides, virtually everybody concerned with education places premium on academic achievement; excellent academic achievement of children is often the expectation of parents (Osiki, 2001). At the outset of an activity, students differ in learning as a function of their prior experiences, personal qualities and social supports. The latter includes the extent that parents and teachers encourage them to learn, facilitate their access to resources necessary for learning, and teach them strategies that enhance skill acquisition and refinement. Parent’s academic aspirations for their children influence their children’s academic achievements both directly and indirectly (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, and Pastorelli, 2001). The quality of the learning environment was strongly correlated with pupils’ achievement in mathematics (Carron & Chau, 2006). Two aspects of school climate which are commitment to school and positive feedback from teachers have been shown to affect students’ learning gain in Mathematics (Hoge, Asimeng, Boahene, 2000).

The social emotional climate of schools is predictive of mother’s reports of their school age children alcohol use and psychiatric problems (Kasen, Johnson & Cohen, 2000). Furthermore, researchers have found that positive school climate are protective factors for boys and may supply high-risk students with a supportive learning environment, yielding healthy development, as well as preventing antisocial behavior (Haynes, 2000; Kuperminc et al., 2001). School climate research suggests that positive interpersonal relationships and optimal learning opportunities for students in all demographic environments can increase achievement levels and reduce maladaptive behavior (McEvoy & Welker, 2000). Regarding the roles of teachers and administrators, Taylor and Tashakkori (2006) found that a positive school climate is associated with increased job satisfaction for school personnel. Finally, student perspectives are important during the transition from one school level to another. Attending a new school can be frightening for students and this apprehension can adversely affect students’ perceptions of their school’s climate and learning outcomes.

Therefore, research has shown that providing a positive and supportive school climate for students is important for a smooth and easy transition to a new school (Freiberg, 2000). Previous school climate research supports the conclusion that many factors comprise this complex concept. Furthermore, school climate can play a significant role in providing a healthy and positive school atmosphere. Freiberg (2000) note that the interaction of various school and classroom climate factors can create a fabric of support that enables all members of the school community to teach and learn at optimum levels. It has been found that a positive school climate can yield positive educational and psychological outcomes for students and school personnel. Similarly, a negative climate can prevent optimal learning and development (Freiberg, 2000; Kuperminc et al., 2001; Kuperminc, Leadbeater & Blatt, 2001; Manning & Saddlemire, 2004). Manning and Saddlemire (2004) conclude aspects of school climate, including trust, respect, mutual obligation, and concern for other’s welfare can have powerful effects on educators’ and learners’ interpersonal relationships as well as learners’ academic achievement and overall school progress. What children learn about themselves in school through interactions is equally important as the academic knowledge they receive. School climate, if positive, can provide an enriching environment, both for personal growth and academic success.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

As noted by some researchers, academic achievement difficulties of students have been a recurring concern for secondary school education worldwide for various reasons, including the assumption that an improvement in achievement implies a higher graduation rate and the financial implications of students’ scholastic achievement (that is, the academic dismissal of students due to poor scholastic achievement) can have negative effect on the budget of education. In particular, poor scholastic achievement can influence the reputation of a school because academic success is associated with the quality of the school. The alarming rate of failure in our secondary schools is highly embarrassing. The school climate in the study area is nothing to write home about. The school climate is not interesting for teaching and learning, instructional material and inadequately provided, Infrastructural facilities are in dilapidated conditions, lack of trained teachers and other facilities that promote teaching and learning are also in short fall which may tend to influence students’ academic achievement in school. It is on this premise that the researcher is motivated to appraise the influence of school climate on performance of secondary school students.