An Evaluation of the Perceptions of In-Service Training Programmes Provided for Female Head Teachers of Girls’ Schools in Saudi Arabia

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Although the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia invests heavily in training for female head teachers, several studies indicate that evaluations to determine the evaluation of training are not undertaken, and there is a need to assess the training programmes offered. Thus, the current study evaluates female head teachers’ and their supervisors’ perceptions of in-service training programmes provided for female head teachers at girls’ schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through an adaptation of Kirkpatrick’s model (1967). It identifies and discusses the ways in which different factors related to the training process can influence the effectiveness of these training programmes for head teachers. An interpretivist paradigm was adopted, and qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 250 trainees who work as head teachers, along with 12 supervisors. The study was conducted at two separate times (immediately after completion and three months post-training). The data were analysed thematically, both generally and with the aid of descriptive and regression models. The adapted Kirkpatrick’s model was found to be effective. Moreover, the female head teacher trainees expressed positive responses to and satisfaction with the training programmes in terms of a range of elements (trainers, training environment and training delivery). The results of the study indicate that the participants believe that their knowledge, information and practical skills improved as a result of undertaking the training programmes. 95.2 per cent of participants believe that the training had a positive effect on their behaviour by improving their skills and enhancing the character traits they need for their job, while 4.8 per cent believe that the training did not have a positive effect on their behaviour due to issues relating to the training delivery, the trainer and the training environment. Significantly, there is a positive correlation between perceptions of participants’ behavioural changes after training and their qualifications. Furthermore, the supervisors believe that the training programmes have a positive influence on head teachers and their work, which was reflected positively in their teachers’ performance and students’ results. ii The participants identified four obstacles that could hinder the effectiveness of female head teacher training in the Saudi context: the limited professional skills of the trainer, the method and type of training delivery used, the lack of preparedness of the training environment and the trainee’s lack of motivation towards the training. This study contributes to the field by providing a tool, adapted from Kirkpatrick’s model and based on its criteria and its methods, for the Ministry of Education to use to evaluate training programmes for female headteachers in the KSA. It also offers a practical contribution to the literature on effective training methods