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In-depth guide on starting a new school in India

From the older gurukuls to modern-day schools, India believes in “education is for all”. In India, education is a non-profit service provided to Indians. The Indian Government doesn’t treat schools like any other business. Only non-profit bodies are permitted to educate children by opening a school, and rightly so. Hence, private organizations can’t open and operate schools in India. In order to start a school in India, you must first create a Society, or a Trust, or a Section 8 Company, which are otherwise known as Non-Government Organizations.

Now that you have created an NGO, you are eligible to open a school. There are some basic things to consider and plan:

  • Plan
  • Funds
  • Property
  • Permissions and affiliation
  • Grand opening

Plan

For any ambitious project, a basic outline is significant; for schools, the most cumbersome of them all, the need for an outline holds true. The teacher-student ratio must be perfect, highly-skilled faculty is a must for a new school which is to be started. It will help if you include secondary parameters, but the equally important staff such as Lab assistants, Admins, Drivers, into your plan. However, employment barely scratches the surface. Other planning involved in the process of opening a school includes the actual architecture of the school, deciding on the capacity, libraries, etc.

Funds

For simplification purposes, let’s divide this section into two categories.

Capital cost.
Unsurprisingly, the initial, and possibly the major, expenditure will be the land on which the school will be built. Then comes the construction of classrooms, laboratories, furniture, and the purchasing quality/safe equipment.

Operational costs
Salaries, maintenance, awards, and scholarships. School vans and monthly bills for electricity and water.

Once you have with you the funds and a solid plan, you need to get the land.

School ready to be managed & operational | How to start a school in India.

Property

Before getting the land to build a school upon, it is better to get the following documents ready which is essential for building a school:

  • Building blueprint 
  • Water and hygiene certificates
  • Auditor’s and bank statements of the governing body and its members

Now that you have the documents, we move on to the actual step of land procurement for starting a school on it. If you are buying land from the Government, you need to do two things:

  • The first order of business is to get a no-objection certificate. Also known as the Essentiality Certificate, this should be obtained from the particular state’s Department of Education. This certificate makes sure that a new school is needed in that particular neighborhood, and similar schools aren’t found in the vicinity. Keep in mind that the EC is valid only for three years, so the construction must begin before this timeframe.
  • Once this certificate is secured, you can approach the respective municipal corporation for getting the land, which is generally given out in auctions.

If you/your committee have your own land, you can skip step 2 after getting the NOC from the Department of Education. Please keep in mind that all the education boards in India, such as CBSE or State Boards, require the school to have a playground. The size requirement of land for each type of school varies. So it would be best if you had a clear idea of the minimum requirement before approaching the Department of Education for starting a school in India.

Apart from buying land, the schools also have the option of leasing lands for starting a new school. Most state laws require a lease deed for a minimum of at least 30 years.

Permissions and affiliation

In several states, after the school’s construction is complete, you need to obtain permission to start the school for pre-primary and primary classes. Additionally, the schools also need to obtain recognition from the respective state governments under the Right to Education Act.

After obtaining such permission, the school needs to obtain a NOC from the concerned state education department if the school intends to get affiliated to other boards such as CBSE, ICSE, or other boards.

There are three well-known education boards in India-

  • CBSE(Central Board of Secondary Education);
  • ICSE Council for Indian Schools Certificate Examination (CISCE);
  • IB(International Baccalaureate);
  • State Boards.

As soon as you get the NOC from the respective state department, you get the State Board’s Affiliation quite simply by providing proof of infrastructure, decent staff numbers, and amenities for children which is key for starting a school.

But to get CBSE and IB affiliation, your school needs to be operational and produce good results for a fixed duration. For CBSE, it is one year, and for IB, it is three years. Even then, there are other requirements to get these affiliations. You need more licenses and approvals before applying for these affiliations for the process of opening your school. Please go through them this link for CBSE schools, this link for ICSE schools, and this link for IB.

Note that the respective by-laws of the boards must be satisfied before applying for affiliation in order to start a school in India. When all the documents are perfect, the Affiliation Inspection Committee will grant a provisional affiliation.

Learning through application for holistic education | Starting a school in India

Grand opening

You have aced in the planning department-

  • secured enough funding to run the school for at least a few years,
  • built a hard-wearing structure, and
  • won all the necessary certificates and licenses.

You really should give yourself a pat or two on your back because it is almost impossible to have come this far. So, kudos on embarking on the journey of starting a new school. Now all that is needed to do is printout brochures, advertise on newspapers, traditional and social media, email parents.  Simply put, just about anything to get your noble message of educating children in the school you started out to the world. Please wait for the correct time to open and manage your new school as many parents want to join their children on an auspicious day.

However,  what if you were unable to do any of the above? No worries! Starting a new school in India is a rather strenuous and prolonged mission. There are professional companies out there that share a similar altruistic vision and would love to help you in your benevolent ambitions. One such company is K12 Techno Services Pvt. Ltd.

K12 Techno services is one such organization that helps schools manage their functions at the optimum level. They manage schools across its various functions, keeping in mind the school’s vision and mission. K12’s services go beyond managing the academic excellence the school provides but also takes care of the administrative purposes. If you are looking forward to outsourcing the roles and responsibilities of managing a school, do get in touch with their executives at  +91-9538979789.