Schools are the stepping stone walking on which a student acquires the morals, intellectual outlook and skills that he makes use throughout his life. Parents go through a rigorous process trying to identify the best school for their ward. The process of rating the best school demands an equally robust and rigorous methodology so that the true temples of learning are identified and highlighted.


The schools in the city were segregated according to their geographical location into zones. The zonal definitions used are as follows:

  • Kolkata
    • North - Girsh Park, Sovabazar, Dum Dum, College Street
    • South - Ballygunge, Gariahat, Jodhpur park, Jadavpur
    • East - Eastern Bypass, Salt Lake, Rajarhat
    • Central - Park Street, Louden Street, Esplanade, AJC Bose, Sealdah
    • Greater South - Garia, Santoshpur, Tollygunge, Behala, Chetla, New Alipore
  • Chennai
    • North - Thiruvotriyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet, Royapuram
    • West - Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar, Ambattur, Avadi, Anna nagar, Ayanavaram., Villivakam, Perambur, Kilpauk, Chetpet
    • Central - Saidapet, Teynampet, Egmore, Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam, T Nagar, Mylapore, Santhome
    • Central Suburbs - Valasaravakkam, Ashok Nagar, Saligramam, Porur, Poonamallee, Sriperambadur
    • Central Suburbs - Valasaravakkam, Ashok Nagar, Saligramam, Porur, Poonamallee, Sriperambadur
    • Southern Suburbs - Chromepet, Pallavaram, Tambaram, Vandalur


Initially, 170 schools in each of Kolkata and Chennai were shortlisted to select the better schools among a number of schools in the cities.


The approach to the School Rankings is two-pronged. One method is to assess the school through the lenses of the stakeholders, i.e. to gauge their perception of the school and then rank them according to the school’s perceptions. The other method is to assess the school on the basis of the effort that the school has put in to create the ideal environment for a student to grow and learn, i.e. the infrastructure and facilities that the schools have put in place for the students. We chose to take the best of both methods and merge them together to come up with the rankings. Thus, the study was conducted in two modules, namely Perception module and Mystery Parent module. Data collected in each of the Modules was then merged to give a ranking of schools.


In the perception module, various stakeholders of schools, such as Parents, Alumni & Facilitators (teachers, principals, tuition teachers, etc.) were interviewed and their perception towards different schools was captured. Each respondent gave a rating to the schools on the following parameters:

  1. Overall Rating of the School
  2. Reputation
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Academic Performance
  5. Quality of Students
  6. Value for Money
  7. Extra Curricular Performance
  8. International Outlook
  9. Holistic Education
  10. Teaching Quality
  11. Overall Facilities
  12. Sports Facilities
  13. Security
  14. Buses
  15. Curriculum
  16. Use of Technology
  17. Mentoring
  18. Transparency
  19. Freedom
  20. Excellence
  21. Inclusiveness
For each city a sample of 1650 was divided amongst Parents, Alumni & Facilitators who were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire. The following was the sample split across the various segments:
Center Parents Alumni Facilitators Total
Kolkata 750 750 150 1650
Chennai 750 750 150 1650
For Parents, the respondents were asked for the names of the schools where their kids were studying. It was a pre-requirement that the kids had to be studying in one of the initially shortlisted schools. From the name and address of the school, the zone was selected and further interview was conducted for the schools in the selected zone. The Parents had to answer about schools apart from the school where their kids study.
For Alumni, again the pre-requirement was that they had to pass out from one of the initially shortlisted schools in March-April 2013. The zone was selected basis the school from where they had passed out from and the further interview was conducted for the schools in the selected zone. The Alumni had to answer about schools apart from the school where they passed out from.
For Facilitators, if zone was selected basis the school with which they have the maximum involvement. The further interview was conducted for the schools in the selected zone, apart from the school where they are involved. In case they are not involved with any school, then the zone is selected basis the area of residence.
Each respondent was asked about four schools that he/ she were aware about and ratings on various parameters taken to get unbiased information.


In the Mystery Parent Module, interviewers posing as parents or guardians were sent to schools under the premise of inquiring about admission for their child. The responses captured here are the responses of the school to prospective parents. These responses of the schools to the prospective parents were used to gauge the school’s infrastructure and facilities. The facilities assessed were classified under five heads as follows:

  • Academic Facilities
  • Co-Curricular Facilities
  • Digital / Technological Facilities
  • Overall Facilities
  • Sports Facilities
Within each of the heads, several parameters were captured from the schools, examples of them are Libraries, Labs, Playgrounds, etc.


PERCEPTION MODULE: The weighting used for each of the segment was derived via a regression analysis of the data with Overall Rating as the dependent variable and the rest of the variables as independent variables. Using the weighting, a score was calculated for each school for each of the segments.
Finally, the total score calculated for the perception module as a weighted score of the three segments.
MYSTERY AUDIT MODULE: The different parameters under each of the heads were assigned Weights basis the distribution of these facilities in the schools. Using the weights assigned, a score was calculated for each school.
The Total Score for each school was calculated using the scores of the two modules.


IMRB International is one of India’s oldest and largest full service market research and consulting companies in India, with a presence across the country as well as South Asia, Middle East and South East Asia. IMRB International is part of the Kantar Group, the research, insight & consultancy network of the WPP group.
IMRB International operates across multiple sectors, with specialist teams for Insights and Consultancy. With more than 50 years of experience in the Indian market, IMRB International has worked for and supported the launch and partnered in the success of many brands in India.