Answer this question without thinking too hard. What makes a great school?

Is it

A. The Size

B. population

C. facilities

D. Quality of teachers

what makes a great school


The number of new private schools springing up in Nigeria is certainly noteworthy. More so because this increase in number of schools is not rising in proportion to the quality of education  given out. How come? Maybe it is because; as the opening question likely proved, a great school isn’t really achieved by sheer size, number of students or even the quality of exam score records they churn out. A good school maybe, but not a great school.

How does your School Measure up to ESSA Quality Standards? Rate My School – Free Test

Let’s examine together the individual aspects of what would really make a school great:

1. Facilities – It’s true that a great school should have necessary facilities to improve student learning. But who cares if you have the latest, fanciest school software without people who are able to make the best use of it? A great school  in essence is made mostly by people, among other things. These include the students and the staff that make the school work. School facilities in any truly great school therefore are not there to impress potential customers or competitors but to aid and encourage complete learning.

2. Leadership: While managing a school is arguably one of the most difficult jobs to exist, there are some unique qualities one has to possess to manage a great school effectively,whether as a proprietor, principal or headteacher. Excellent organization skills and patience are at the top of that list. A great school administrator must be organized and clear in setting and achieving goals. A strong ability to set out and enforce regulations, to communicate properly and to motivate the workforce and students to work is also a common quality among top ranking school administrators.

Recommended: Get this free Guide: Everything you need to know about School Management/School Admin

3. Teachers: Great schools only hire competent, passionate and dedicated teachers. They know that the best teachers are also learners; who are willing to learn and adapt new, innovative information, skills and teaching methods. Great 21st century teachers have to be creative and preferably technology savvy, especially for these 2 reasons. They are usually able to apply a variety of individualized instruction techniques in and out of the classroom. Most of all, they are emotionally balanced and know how to enforce hard discipline and gentle correction when the time comes.

4. Students – Students are the most important resource of any great school because they are often looked upon as evidence. Students that attend a great school are noticeably curious and show willingness to learn even outside the school environment. Moreover they do not act as if they feel forced to attend school but seem happy and proud to be there. Of course kids will always be kids but a truly great school always has a majority of students who generally enjoy the school experience and have respect for their teachers and school authority.

5. Parents – The relationship between parents and the management of your school usually tells a lot. Great schools culminate an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust in all things. Parents usually have high expectations from the school management and cooperate with them to bring about the results of this expectation.

6. Values – Any good school will definitely have values that it refuses to compromise, even for maximum financial gain. The values are clear and spelled out often in the identity and  regulations of a great school. School values are communicated frequently to parents, staff, students and the public, as part of the school identity.

Each one of these aspects are essential in creating that undeniable quality of a great school we are only lucky to come across every once in a while. If you realized while reading that your school is lacking in any of them, well… a great school, like anything of perfection, is never closed for improvement.

We like these 50 signs your school is a great school by Education World. What you would add to the list? Also have a look at these 10 features of a great school. Sound familiar?

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