The purpose of this research was to compare the influence of management styles of head teacher’s on pupils’ performance in private and public primary schools in Nakuru municipality at Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (K.C.P.E.) level. The study findings revealed that most public primary schools were using democratic and participatory leadership styles as opposed to private primary schools, which were mainly using the autocratic leadership style. Private primary schools were performing better than Public primary schools in K.C.P.E. Most teachers in both private and public primary schools were not comfortable with the prevailing leadership styles and administration standards which negatively influenced student performance in K.C.P.E. Following these findings, the study recommends that the Ministry of Education, School governing bodies, and stakeholders should consider mobilizing and allocating resources towards mitigating the impediments to the effective leadership styles which influence student performance in K.C.P.E.