In the 21st Century, wasted time is a cardinal sin, and we rather not make decisions that are not backed by logical reasoning and are not result-oriented. For example, before heading to a quaint restaurant for dinner, we check out the ratings. What the masses say about the place is very important and we take it seriously.

Likewise, imagine having an official rating for schools. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? According to the latest reports, Prabhat Jain, Director of Pathways International and Chairman of FICCI ARISE, announced at the FICCI ARISE School Education Conference 2017, that ratings for high schools in India will follow the India University Rankings by the HRD Ministry of India.  

Since there are no existing benchmarks of school ratings in India, inferences can be made from those followed in countries like USA and UK where an established methodology has been adopted to rank schools.

U.S News and Ofsted are two of the most followed bodies in US and UK respectively for school ratings. Drawing a parallel, in India, companies like Fortune 500, rate organisations on various parameters. These three institutes that have equipped themselves in providing authentic ranking and ratings. Being on their list, brings several accolades in various forms. Some of them are – Prestige, Recognition, Learning and Aspiration.

Food for thought for the educationalists would be considering all parameters that will come into play and have an effect on the school’s performance measurement.

USA School Ranking Parameters:

U.S News is one of the most popular ranking body that ranks high schools in US. They follow a 4 step process to rank schools wherein, schools move up the ladder only by clearing each step. The steps are as follows:

  • The first step determines if the schools students are performing better than other students in the state.
  • The second step determines if the schools disadvantaged group performs better than other disadvantaged groups in the state.
  • The third step verifies if the school is surpassing the basic benchmark for their graduation rate.
  • The fourth step examines the outplacement and checks if the school is making its students college ready by using advanced placement or IB test data as the benchmark for success.

UK School Rating Parameters:

Ofsted is a non-ministerial department of the UK government which rates schools on the basis of the following

  • Overall effectiveness of the school
  • Management and leadership effectiveness
  • Quality of teachers learning and assessments
  • Personal development behaviour welfare of students
  • Effectiveness of the study programs provided
  • Student academic results and outplacement records

The question is – are school ratings necessary and important?

From parent’s perspective, having a comprehensive rating list, of schools will help in making informed decisions in regards with admissions. According to Albert Bandura, a social psychologist, children are social learners and hence, selecting a school which will influence the child’s successful transition to adolescence will be of utmost significance to parents.

When it comes to schools, ratings will provide 4 key aspects which can help them in brand value and admission.

Benefits of School Ratings:

  1. Students with good academic records prefer to enrol at highly ranked institutions perceived as offering better education – or, at the very least, a more impressive diploma as they have better outplacements.
  2. Ratings help schools evaluate their compliance with national/regional educational policies and give direction to the school management’s decision making.
  3. Amongst schools that haven’t gone digital, this initiative will ignite the need to digitize and consolidate all their records.
  4. Getting ranked officially lends credibility and visibility, that in-turn contribute towards the branding of the school.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a globally recognised rating body like Fortune 500 rank not just the top companies, but, also the schools – as schools are the breeding ground for learners who shape the future of India!