Parents give a lot of thought and time to selecting a school for their child. Curriculum, teaching standards, school infrastructure, fees, location, safety — all are crucial while making that choice.
Earlier, there were few options in curriculum and a small list of old and established institutions to choose from. Now, new-age campuses and legislation, such as the Right to Education Act, are revolutionising school education. With an explosion in the number of schools and a wider choice of Indian and international curricula, the task of finding the best school is tougher than ever.
We hope our list of the top schools in Mumbai will help you arrive at that important decision.
The methodology used to select Mumbai’s top schools involves a formula that has proved its efficacy since 2009, when HT first gave you a list of Mumbai’s best schools. Over the years, some of your suggestions have been incorporated in the selection process.
We will list the best schools in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Apart from the rankings, we will have profiles of the top institutions in each zone, followed by a series of reports next week that will track the trends and developments in school education.
The 2015 Hindustan Times-C fore Top Schools survey gave scores to each school across 18 parameters, from academic rigour to sports.
Here are the 10 schools that ranked the highest on our survey from Mumbai’s east zone — this includes areas between Chembur and Matunga:
1) Shishuvan School, Matunga
426, Shraddhanand Road, King’s Circle | Website: www.shishuvan.com
History: The school was set up as a response to the locality’s need for an English-medium school with modern facilities. It was established in June 2001.
Unique Features: The school hosted the ICSE ISC volleyball tournament with 30+ teams from across the country. The school organises a unique literature festival for the primary section. It also has a ‘language mall’ on campus that offers foreign languages separately.
"The holistic development of students is the focus of the pedagogy. Fear has no place in Shishuvan classrooms." ~ Shubhadra Shenoy, principal
Highest ratings for: Value for money Teachers Academic rigour
Boards: Class 10: ICSE | Annual fee: Rs 53,000 Students: 1,400 boys and girls
Student-teacher ratio: Not available
2) Udayachal School
Pirojshanagar, Vikhroli (East) | Website: www.udayachal.com
History: The school was established in 1955 by the late Pirojsha Godrej with the sole purpose of providing quality education to children of staff working in the group’s companies.
“Our pedagogical practices promote the holistic development of pupils enabling their transformation into global leaders with a social consciousness.”~ Rekha Pandey, principal, secondary section
Highest ratings for: Teachers Value for money Academic rigour
Boards: Class 10-SSC | Annual fee: Not disclosed
Students: 2,767 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
3) Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai
Hiranandani Gardens, Powai | Website: www.hiranandanischools.edu.in
History: The school was founded in 1990 by the Hiranandani Foundation, a registered charitable trust, to serve residents of Hiranandani Gardens in Powai.
Unique Features: The school won the ISA award by the British Council this year, which checks global pedagogy of the school. It participates in the model UN programme. It has partnered with colleges in Netherlands for exchange programmes.
“The way we nurture our children helps them become confident, global citizens in the true sense of the word.”~ Kalyani Patnaik, principal
Highest ratings for: Teachers Selection process Academic rigour
Boards: Class 5 and 9 — CIE, Class 10 — ICSE, Class 12 — ISC, IB
Annual fee: Rs 66,000 approx.
Students: Around 2,496 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 25:1
3) St Gregorios High School
VN Purav Marg, Chembur | Website: www.stgregorios.net
History: The St Gregorios Education and Medical Trust was formed in 1992. The Gregorian nursery and kindergarten section was opened in 1993 and the main school the following year.
Unique Features: The school is a member of the Junior Global Partnership programme started by the New York mayor’s office. The school arranges tours to different places in India annually. It has a tie-up with Shankar Mahadevan’s music academy and Raell Padamsee’s acting classes.
"We have an outreach programme wherein our students visit nearby villages and spread positive messages." ~ Rashmi Ambavane, principal
Highest ratings for: Academic Rigour Teachers Value for money
Boards: Class 10 — ICSE, Class 12 — ISC | Annual fee: Rs 36,000 to Rs 42,000
Students: 2,200 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 40:1
5) Don Bosco High School
King’s Circle, Matunga | Website: www.donboscomatunga.com
History: The school was set up at Tardeo in 1928 by four Salesians, and was named the Educational Institution of Immaculate Conception. It was moved to Matunga in 1941.
Unique Features: Part of the school is solar powered. It was awarded the Lions club award for the best school in the Sion-Matunga area. The school conducts mental health awareness programs and also has counsellors and physiotherapists on campus.
"We inculcate in every student the need to give back to society. We have well equipped classrooms with modern facilities." ~ Father Bernard, principal
Highest ratings for: Selection process Teachers Value for money
Boards: Class 10 — SSC | Annual fee: Rs 23,000 for KG; Rs 7,600 for Primary and Secondary
Students: 2,900 boys | Student-teacher ratio: 52:1
6) Pawar Public School
LBS Road, Bhandup (West) | Website: www.pawarpublicschool.com
History: The school’s foundation stone was laid in April 2005 and classes began a year later. The first batch of Class 10 students passed out with 100% results.
Unique Features: The school has included compulsory activities like cooking and dramatics for the secondary section of the school. For the primary section, the school uses an activity-based curriculum — XSEED — which has minimised use of textbooks. Lectures in subjects such as physics are video-streamed.
"The learning curve of each student must be honed, Our approach towards education is practical and makes learning fun." ~ Suma Das, vice-principal
Highest ratings for: Teachers Value for money Selection process
Boards: Class 10 — ICSE | Annual fee: Rs 41,000 approx
Students: 2,500 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 30:1 for the primary section, 40:1 for the secondary section
7) Loreto Convent School
RCF Township, Chembur | Website: www.loretoconventschool.org
History: The school began at the RCF Township on June 16, 1968. The Loreto sisters took over the school from the Good Shepherd nuns. The school shifted to its present building in 1969.
Unique Features: The school lays special emphasis on identifying students with learning disabilities and conducts special classes for them. A career guidance workshop for secondary school students is also conducted to help them make career choices. It also has a dance studio.
"We prepare our students to be leaders of tomorrow. We believe every child is unique and deserves the best." ~ Sister Bernadette, principal
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour Value for money Teachers
Boards: Class 10 — SSC | Annual fee - Primary section: Rs 15,000, Secondary: free (govt-aided)
Students: 1,500. Co-ed till primary section, only girls from Class 5 | Student-teacher ratio: 50:1
8) Bombay Scottish School, Powai
Raheja Vihar, Powai | Website: www.bombayscottish.in/powai/home.php
History: In 1847, a group of Scottish missionaries started the Bombay Scottish Orphanage School to educate orphans. In 1976, the name was changed to Bombay Scottish School. To mark its 150th anniversary, a school was established at Powai in 1997.
Unique Features: The school has state-of-the-art science laboratories and conducts several quizzes, competitions and a science Olympiad. It takes students on field trips, social service visits and camps.
Despite repeated attempts, the principal, Alice Barretto, was unavailable for comment.
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour Value for money Teachers
Boards: Class 10 — ICSE | Annual fee: Not disclosed
Students: 1,700 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: Not available
9) SIES High School, Matunga
KA Subramaniam Road, Matunga (East) | Website: www.sieshsm.edu.in
History: The school was established in 1932 by the South Indian Education Society. It is a co-educational English medium school. It acquired the ISO 9001:2000 QMS certification in 2004.
Unique Features: The school has an internal self- assessment system to make their academic programmes better. It has language clubs for English Hindi and Marathi to help students in its fluency. The school has a special movie screening for its students on Saturdays.
"We have a lot of students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and we believe education must reach to the lowest rung of society." ~ Kalyani Arumugam , headmistress
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour Teachers Value for money
Boards: Class 10-SSC | Annual fee: Free (govt-aided)
Students: 4,000 approx | Student-teacher ratio: 75:1
10) Swami Vivekanand High School, Chembur
Sindhi Society, Chembur | Website: No official website
History: Vivekanand Education Society started its educational activities in 1962 with 256 students in a high school. Today, the society runs a primary and high School, degree college of Arts, Science and Commerce, Polytechnic and Engineering among others.
Unique Features: The school as a special music section. All its classrooms are IT-enabled with smart boards. It admits physically and visually disabled students in mainstream classes.
"We ensure that students with disabilities are not excluded from mainstream education." ~ Bina Gole, principal
Highest ratings for: Attitude towards learning Academic rigour Social engagement
Boards: Class 12-SSC | Annual fee: Rs 12,000 for primary; free (govt aided) for secondary onwards
Students: 4,500 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: Not available
Hindustan Times commissioned research organisation C fore to conduct the survey to rank top Schools in Mumbai. The assessment parameters and corresponding weightages were set by HT and were the same as were used last year:
The 18 parameters on which the schools were rated are: Educational philosophy; attitude towards learning; breadth of vision; social engagement; academic rigour; innovative teaching; teachers; teacher-student relationship; sports; cultural activities; life-skill education; infrastructure and facilities; safety, health and hygiene; diversity; selection process; governance; parent participation; and value for money.
A perceptual survey was conducted among a carefully selected sample of teachers and parents using a structured questionnaire. In all, 5,356 teachers and parents participated in the survey. While simultaneously collecting objective data from various schools, the respondents were asked to evaluate the schools that they were aware of on 10-point scale against 18 parameters Hindustan Times set.
C fore researchers visited each school shortlisted for ranking based on the objective and perceptual data collected. The data gathered was also audited by talking to parents and students. To arrive at the ranking score, the figures of perceptual and objective data were combined. In case the objective data was not available, the perceptual data scores were extrapolated to rank top 10 schools of each of the five zones of Mumbai namely North Mumbai, East Mumbai, West Mumbai, South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
1. Despite employing such a comprehensive process, we at HT believe that such rankings cannot be completely objective because people will have different opinions of what they believe constitutes good education. Some parents might be looking for a school that allows them to be closely involved, while others may want the opposite. Some parents might want schools that focus on sports, while others may want one where academics dominates.
2. We believe that beyond a particular threshold, it is difficult to rank schools in an objective manner. Indeed, as we have already said, our survey includes some subjective, perceptual inputs. We have, however, ranked the top ten schools overall in the city and will, from this year, rank the top schools in six zones because many readers have asked us for this kind of demarcation.
3. In any case, we advise parents to look carefully at how schools have scored against the various parameters instead of going just by the overall rank. These scores will indicate to parents which school might better suit their specific aspirations. Indeed, a school that is ranked lower in the Hindustan Times list might actually be better suited to a parent and his or her child/children than the top-ranked one.