There has been plenty of debate and research over the aspects that attribute to a thriving school. What makes a school successful? What are the key factors that distinguish effective from the least effective schools? With multiple paradigms for school operations, how can we judge if a school model is effective?

Yes, quality leadership is essential. Educational leadership ensures a vision of holistic excellence for all students. Though intellectual success is vital in student's lives, it has to be complemented with life skills to create individuals who can transform societies on a social, spiritual, personal and intellectual dimension.

The form of leadership which I follow in my school is delegative and participative. This encompasses the following:
  • Developing an inspiring vision and purpose which is clearly articulated, shared and understood by all, and which takes a range of views into account.
  • Translating that vision into a strategic and sustainable plan, clear objectives and high expectations of student's performance
  • Creating a school climate that is motivating and inspiring and a culture that encourages innovations and collaborative work.
  • Distributing leadership and accountability throughout the organisation to improve standards.
  • Being a visible leader and demonstrating vision and commitment in everyday work and practice.

As a principal of a school, I cannot articulate and implement my plan all alone and I must transmit it to my coordinators. I need to discuss all the significant aspects of the school with all my coordinators and arrive at a common consensus.

I believe all students and staff should participate in the actualisation of school goals. The staff and students' council should be empowered to take responsibility for the overall growth of the institution.

This kind of style of functioning gives me more space to focus on planning and organising. It helps build trust amongst my team members with openness and direct communication. My team members are encouraged to take the initiative. In exercising the authority that has been delegated to them, all team members get the opportunity to develop their skill of leadership. It boosts their team morale, improves their efficiency and productivity, enhances their enthusiasm, innovations as well as cooperation. I believe the teaching faculty must take the ownership and get involved in the broader aspects of the school. They must not restrict themselves to classroom teaching alone.

High expectations from one's workforce keeps the workforce mobile and proactive and avoid stagnation. I believe that high expectations from the staff build their self-esteem and increase their confidence to improve their performance. It will help them realize their true potential and subsequently will lead them to a richer learning experience.

On the other hand, when higher expectations are set for my workforce, then I need to be very sensitive to feel their pulse. Unrealistic expectations might lead the staff to lose motivation and purpose, leading to mediocrity in performance. To maintain a conducive learning atmosphere, I am open to feedback which helps in the evolution of effective leadership.

When a teacher perceives teaching as only means of earning, I do feel a mismatch between the respective expectations. I believe that teaching is not only a profession but a noble vocation. One of the charisms of the 'Ignatian Pedagogy' is to keep striving for the greater, the “More” or the “Magis”. A change in the mindset of this kind requires frequent training programmes and spiritual orientation.

One of my favourite projects has been to motivate teachers to adopt one or two children who have difficulties in the realm of their academic or emotional life. The teachers accompany the children through all their ups and downs of the child's life. This kind of mentoring has made a significant difference in the lives of the children.

To enhance the development of teachers I have focussed on regular classroom observation, peer observation, in service training programme, frequent workshops or seminars for teachers and educational exposure.

I believe in promoting a non-competitive environment for learning outcomes. Embracing the future where Artificial Intelligence, experiential learning are the order of the day, I have launched several programmes in collaboration with the most leading partners in STEAM technology. This programme has focussed on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, Bio-Technology, Genetic Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This scope of content has enhanced and enriched the existing curriculum

My success as a school principal is primarily due to the effective implementation of the Ignatian pedagogy which is continually evolving and forms the basis of the 'Jesuit Education'. Jesuit education emphasises human excellence which comprises the holistic development of every child. I give equal importance to academic and extra-curricular activities. As a school leader it has been my constant endeavour to ensure to build a healthy and robust relationship with various stakeholders. As a promoter of Jesuit Education my main aim is to form students who will become 'Men for Others'. My focus is holistic education which will develop mind, body and soul.