A pilot study was conducted in the first stage to identify both residential and non-residential schools. It involved in-depth interviews with 20 academicians from different schools. The following six parameters were identified:
- Quality of faculty: Based on the teachers’ educational background, their experience and teaching effectiveness;
- Infrastructure and facilities: Including the buildings, classrooms, computer labs, libraries and playgrounds;
- Attention to students: Assessed on the basis of student-faculty ratio as well as the class size;
- Sports: Facilities for different sports and encouragement given to students to excel in their areas of interest; and
- Co-curricular activities: Importance given to co-curricular activities like debates, quiz, dramatics, etc.
- Academic environment: As reflected in the final examination results.
In the second stage, more than 600 teachers from different schools in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai were asked to rank top schools in their cities in terms of overall image. Based on the responses, a list of 20 schools was prepared for each city.
In the third stage, a schedule containing the list of top schools identified in the second stage was prepared separately for each city. Again, over 100 teachers (including principals and vice-principals) from different schools were asked to rate each of the schools they were familiar with on a 10-point scale. The rating teachers gave their own schools was discounted and each school was rated by at least 10 teachers and evaluated against the six parameters. The Cfore team analysed the data and listed the top 10 schools in each city based on the scores. The residential schools were also evaluated similarly against the six parameters and ranked on an all-India basis.