The Indian education system is severely limited by the quality of principals leading the country’s schools. Global research reveals that school leaders account for 25% of a school’s impact on student achievement. Consequently, neglecting these headmasters limits the potential impact of numerous other school-quality interventions.
And yet, the ability of principals to affect meaningful change is limited by policies such as seniority-based recruitment, by a lack of professional development and career progression structures, and by a definition of the role that is restricted to administrative tasks and limited autonomy. Reforming these policies and building the leadership capacity of India’s school principals is critical to successful education reform in the country.
Central Square Foundation considers India’s school principals a key lever for creating system-wide transformation. We support innovative models for training principals to develop skills and mindsets necessary for leading their schools effectively. Our policy research and advocacy in this area focuses on redefining the role of a headmaster to include guiding teaching practices and school culture and on improving the way school leaders are selected, trained, appraised and rewarded.