What factors make an effective and successful school?

By: Admin 18 July, 2017

There are multiple models for school operations, but one primary question that remains is - how can we judge if a school model is effective? And if not, what can be done to improve it? There has been a lot of debates and research over which aspects to be discussed while describing successful schools.


Consider the sole reason for a school to exist, i.e. educating students. Thus, student performance should be the primary indicator for school success. But many researchers also say that student’s social characteristics, such as personal growth should be included when determining effective schools.


In truth, there is no one factor that can accurately determine the effectiveness of K-12 schools. It evolves with each generation of students. The context of schooling will impact factors that contribute to effectiveness in specific schools. At the same time, there are attributes and factors that contribute to effectiveness across all schooling contexts.




What are the elements that contribute to a school’s success?


Let us look at - The Five Factor Theory


A study has described five most common factors that make up an effective school. These factors and the theories behind them are together known as the five factor theory.


  1. Quality Leadership

It has been proved that when a student performs better where the principal provides a strong leadership. When the school leader is visible and is able to successfully project the school’s mission and vision, it resonates among the teachers and students. The school leader, or the principal should also be able to collaborate with teachers to enhance their skills, encourage a culture of performance. Also, be a problem solver. Teachers, as well as students should be able to rely on you for strong decision making.


  1. Higher Expectations

Having high expectations from your staff and students has repeatedly shown to improve their performances. More attention should be paid to high expectations of teachers. In other words, teachers who are expected to teach at high levels of effectiveness are able to reach the level of expectations, particularly when teacher evaluations and teacher professional development is geared toward improving instructional quality. When you establish a level of respect and trust by showing quality leadership, improvement in performance of students and staff comes with it.



  1. Screening student development regularly

Schools can use assessment data to compare their students with others from across the country. Effective use of assessment data allows schools to identify problematic areas of learning at the classroom and school levels, so that solutions can be generated as to how to best address the problems.


  1. Clear Goals and Direction

Administration should actively construct goals and then effectively communicate them to appropriate individuals, staff or students. School principals must be open and willing to incorporate innovative goals for school processes and practices. Also, it is very important to involve all stakeholders in development of school goals, including parents. Schools have shown improved student performances where all stakeholders work as a community towards a mutual goal which is shared among all in the learning environment.


  1. Safety and structure

For maximum learning to occur, students need to feel secure.  Respect is a quality that is promoted and is a fundamental aspect of a safe school.  There are also a number of trained staff and programs, such as social workers, who work with problem students before situations get out of hand.


There are additional factors that influence the effectiveness of a school. There is no simple solution, but it should definitely not depend only on students assessment.


This article has been inspired by and contains excerpts from TheEdvocate website. Read the original here.