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.
Top 10 schools from the north zone — areas north of Goregaon in the western suburbs, Ghatkopar in the eastern suburbs, and Thane:
1) Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School
JK Gram, Thane (West) | Website: www.singhaniaschool.org
History: Gopalkrishna Singhania established the school in 1968 in memory of his wife Sulochanadevi. The school started functioning in 1969. It has a 12.8-acre campus.
Unique features: The school focuses on child-centered and innovative pedagogy. Till Class 4, it follows the thematic teaching pattern. From Class 4 to 7, they follow a ‘one textbook’ policy.
"We give our students opportunities and an environment that is positive, inspiring, challenging and stimulating." ~ Revathi Srinivasan, principal
Highest ratings for: Value for money Teachers Academic rigour
Board: Class 10 — ICSE, Class 12 — ISC | Annual fee: Around Rs. 30,000
Students: 6,650 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 40:1
2) Singapore International School
Western Express Highway, Dahisar (East) | Website: www.sisindia.net
History: The school was established in 2005 with a vision to be a global institution. It is among the few boarding schools around Mumbai.
Unique features: It has day boarding, weekly boarding and term boarding facilities on a 10-acre campus. The primary section weaves in the curriculum of the ministry of education, Singapore.
"Students are challenged to put their learning into action in areas such as film studies and drama and to synthesise knowledge from various areas.” ~ Sharonee Mullick, head of school
Highest ratings: Teachers, Teacher-student relationship, Innovative teaching
Board: IGCSE and IBDP
Annual fee: Up to Rs 3.5 lakh (Class 1 to 6), Up to Rs 5.5 lakh (class 7 to 10), Up to Rs 6.5 lakh for IB
Students: 600 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 10:1
3) Hiranandani Foundation School, Thane
Hiranandani Estate, Thane | Website: www.hiranandanischools.edu.in/thane
History: Property developers Hiranandani set up various schools for residents of their townships. This school was established in 1999.
Unique features: The school has excellent infrastructure, including facilities for squash, basketball and football and its own swimming pool. It offers coaching in skating, taekwondo, chess and athletics. It is fully equipped with smart boards.
“The primary aim of the school is to give a happy environment for the children to learn, grow and blossom into caring adults." – Neelu Lamba, principal
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, Teachers, Sports
Board: Class 10: ICSE, Class 12: ISC | Annual fee: Rs 63,060
Student strength: 2,839 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 35:1
4) Children’s Academy, Malad
BL Muraka Marg, Malad (East) | Website: www.children-academy.org
History: Vasudev Bhat, a former municipal education inspector, established the school in Malad in 1970. The school got its building in 1986 and has since then added two branches.
Unique features: Technology is the school’s forte. It has TVs, computers and projectors in every class. It has many clubs such as nature, literature and general knowledge clubs. The school’s hockey team has excelled at various competitions.
"We aim to provide a progressive learning environment that leads joyful learning along with holistic development. We promote a strong code of values based on respect and tolerance and encourage our students to be good citizens.” – Sudha Shanbhag, principal
Highest ratings for: Value for money, Academic rigour, Teachers
Board: Class 10: ICSE, SSC | Annual fee: ICSE Rs 37,580; SSC Rs 21,670
Students: 4,000 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 28:1
5) Birla School, Kalyan
Birla College Road, Kalyan | Website: www.birlaschoolkalyan.com
History: The co-educational school is managed by Kalyan Citizen’s Education Society. It was founded in 1998 by Basant Kumar Birla, chairman of BK Birla Group of Companies, and his wife Dr Sarala Birla.
Unique Features: The school is spread over six acres with state-of-the-art facilities such as interactive boards in every classroom, basketball court, football ground, indoor games hall, laboratories and a toddlers pool.
“We strongly focus on inculcating values among students along with academic rigour to make them ready for future." ~ Ranjna Jangra, principal
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, Safety, Health and hygiene, Value for money
Board: CBSE | Annual Fee: Rs 50,000
Students: 2,080 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 23:1
6) Gundecha Education Academy
Thakur Village, Kandivli (East) | Website: www.gundechaedu.org
History: The school was established by Paras and Mamta Gundecha in 2004. It aims to provide quality education at an affordable price.
Unique features: It is the first ICSE school in the state to get an accreditation from the Quality Council of India, NABET. The school does not conduct exams till Class 8. Students take the ASSET test, which gauges their overall performance. Stress free atmosphere focusing more on learning than marks.
"We believe the true outcome of education is a rounded personality, who can apply the knowledge gained to real life.” — Seema Buch, principal
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, Innovative teaching, Sports
Board: Class 10: ICSE, Class 12: ISC | Annual fee: Rs 64,189 (average)
Students: 2,695 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
7) NL Dalmia High School
Srishti Complex, Mira Road (East) | Website: www.nldalmia.co.in
History: The school was started in 1991 by philanthropist Niranjan Lalji Dalmia. He chose Mira Road because the suburb did not have good English medium schools then.
Unique features: The school follows thematic study — an interdisciplinary approach to education. It conducts regular workshops and hobby classes for students. The school gives accident and medical insurance to all students and staff.
“We consistently aim to nurture all facets of our children’s personality, focusing on their unique intellectual, social, physical and creative potentials for lifelong learning.” — Seema Saini, principal
Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, Teachers, Governance
Board: Class 10: ICSE, Class 12: ISC | Annual fee: Around Rs 42,000
Students: 2,900 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 21:1
8) DG Khetan International School
Off SV Road and Link Road, Malad (West) | Website: www.khetanint.org
History: The school started its journey in 2006 with 250 students. It started with classes from nursery to Class 6, but now offers the Cambridge 'A Level' Jr. College (10+2) and also Junior College of Science (HSC - State Board).
Unique features: The school is known for ICT laboratories with internet access, learning centre for children and teachers, play station and science laboratories designed according to international norms.
“We believe that our children must avail of new opportunities without losing their moral, cultural and ethical moorings." Arundhati Nikam, principal
Highest rating for: Infrastructure and facilities, Teacher- student relationship, Academic rigour
Board: IGCSE (University of Cambridge, CIE) | Annual Fees: Rs 77,700 (nursery) to Rs 1,11,500 (Grade 10)
Students: 2261 (co-ed) | Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
9) NES International School
Malabar Hill Road, Mulund (West) | Website: www.nesinternational.org
History: NES International School, Mumbai, is one of 47 institutions founded by the National Education Society, established in 1983 for students from all socio-economic backgrounds.
Unique features: Indoor cricket, indoor basketball, indoor skating, adventure sports, paramilitary training, yoga and meditation are offered. The school has psychologists and special tutors.
“We are committed to the cause of working for the children’s future. We feel they should be moulded to face tomorrow’s world" — R Varadarajan, principal
Highest ratings for: Sports, Teacher-student relationship, Cultural activities
Board: IB, PYP, MYP and diploma, CIE-IGCSE, AS and A-level
Annual fee: Rs 80,000 for the playgroup to Rs 6, 00,000 for IB
Students: 586 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
10) Sacred Heart School
Murbad Road, Kalyan, Thane district. | Website: www.sacredheartschool.in
History: The school was established by CC Anthony in 2001. It is a pioneering eco-school. The school aims to mould students into environmentally conscious adults.
Unique features: The 11-acre campus includes a cricket and a football ground, basketball and badminton courts, a gymnasium and a swimming pool. The school also has three auditoriums, six laboratories and IT enabled classrooms. There are two dance rooms and a department for documentary-making.
"We also believe that encouraging parents for overall development of children is important for their great future." ~ Albin Anthony, director and administrative officer
Highest ratings for: Sports, Infrastructure and facilities, Academic rigour
Board: SSC | Annual fee: Rs 27,000
Students: 2,550 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 20:1
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.