How to start a private school in India

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

In India, a good education can lead to poverty elevation and therefore, is looked upon very highly by the masses. Imparting education is considered one of the noblest professions in the world. Teachers have been equated with God in ancient Indian texts.

Considering the importance of education and the massive requirement in India running a private school is a very lucrative investment opportunity. Following are the guidelines on how to start a private school in India -

Type of school

An entity can start a school at any one of the following levels:

  • Playschool (also known as pre school)
  • Pre-primary (Nursery and Kindergarten)
  • Primary (Classes 1st to 5th)
  • Middle (Classes 6th to 8th)
  • Secondary (Classes 9th and 10th)
  • Senior secondary (Classes 11th and 12th)

As the level of education increases, the requirements become stringent and require more monetary investment. Requirement for professionally trained and more knowledgeable teachers arise at higher levels.

Non-profit mandatory

Considering the huge demand for education and the low financial capacity of the general population, the Indian government has made it mandatory for schools of any kind to be operated by a non-profit entity. The following non-profit entities can operate a school:

  • A society under the Societies Act of 1860
  • A Trust under Public Trusts Act which is different for every state
  • A non-profit company under section 25 of Companies Act

Procuring land for the school

State governments in India provide subsidized land for setting up schools to promote more schools to come up. To apply for subsidized land, the entity setting up the school needs to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the education department of the state where the school is to be set up.

The location of the school should be such that it does not directly compete with another school, it should be able to serve a target group of population and should be feasible to be completed.

Constructing the school infrastructure

After the subsidized land is allotted, it is required that the construction be completed within 3 years. The school architecture must be in line with the requirements of the relevant board the school intends to register with and needs to be approved by the local government and the local municipal corporation.

Mission and vision

The school should very clearly lay down the purpose for which it is established and the vision it has for its students in its mission statement. A school serves an entire geographical community and the mission statement acts as their guiding principal in shaping the future of the school and the students at large.

Registering with an education board

In India, a school can be registered under one of different school boards:
  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE),
  • Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE),
  • Local state school boards
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)

Initially, every school has to apply for local state board affiliation and it is granted if the curriculum, no. of teachers, infrastructure and amenities are in line. After the school becomes operational, it can apply to a national board like CBSE or CISCE, which carry out a thorough inspection before granting affiliation.

Different boards have different requirements for schools that register with them regarding the curriculum taught, availability of a playground, teacher salaries, proper labs for chemistry, biology, etc.

Essential documents for registration

  • Architecture layout map approval
  • Land deed
  • Clean water availability certificate
  • Audited financial statements
  • School current account bank statement
  • Completed Infrastructure and amenities certificate

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