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How to Start a CBSE School anywhere in India?

Posted on December 19, 2017 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Opening a CBSE school in India remains top choice of K-12 school promoters across India. For a school to become a CBSE school, affiliation with the board is required. For private schools, CBSE grants affiliation under certain categories which we will discuss one by one.

Firstly, the affiliation for primary schools is granted Need help to start a school in India? in the form of approval for running Middle Class Syllabus. In this case, a primary school can apply for affiliation with CBSE after it has started class VI and before it has started class VII.  Secondly, Provisional Affiliation is granted by the CBSE for secondary schools i.e. permission for starting class IX and, subsequently, class X. The school which is applying for secondary school affiliation should start admissions to class IX only after affiliation is granted by the board. The state board affiliated schools running classes till class VIII can apply for ‘switch over’ to secondary level. Similarly, the state board affiliated secondary schools can apply for ‘switch over’ to senior secondary i.e. class XI and XII.

Further, the schools already running an affiliated CBSE secondary school can apply for up gradation of affiliation for running class XI and XII. In such cases, admissions to class XI must only be started when the affiliation for the senior secondary is granted by the board.

It must be made clear that the application of affiliation must be made by the school one year in advance of the date of the planned academic session. This implies that if a school is planning to start an academic session in 2019, it must apply for affiliation by June 2018.

It is obvious that a school can apply for affiliation only after becoming functional. School promoters aspiring for opening a CBSE school must start a school first with the state board recognition and eventually apply for affiliation. To start a new school in India read our previous article by clicking here.


How to start a school in India?


The school applying for CBSE affiliation needs to fulfill the requirements related to land and Infrastructure, academics, school administration, finances, and management. The school must follow the guidelines provided in the CBSE bye-laws with regard to each and every aspect. There must be a thorough documentation of every aspect as the documents will be needed at the time of application for affiliation and subsequently at the time of pre-affiliation inspection of the school by CBSE delegates.

A newly opened school applying for affiliation with CBSE for any given range of classes must be run by a non-proprietary Trust/Society/Section 8 company. The school applying to CBSE for Provisional Affiliation is required to be a school recognized by the State/U.T. Govt. Additionally, the school will also need to acquire and submit a No Objection Certificate stating that the State Government has no objection to the school’s affiliation with CBSE.

For opening a CBSE school, the Society/Trust/Company must own or procure the land housing the school building and the playground on lease for at least 30 years. An approval of land use for educational purposes and getting land use certificate and NOC from the municipal authority for school construction is mandated.

A private school must fulfill the conditions clearly outlined in the CBSE bye-laws for securing affiliation. If the requirements are not met to CBSE’s satisfaction the application for affiliation will not be processed. The directions that the CBSE affiliation bye-laws entail are discussed below –

  1. Rules regarding Society/Trust Running the which Board / syllabus CBSE or ICSE ? School applying for CBSE affiliation

CBSE recognizes the role of Trust/Society running the school in providing ‘healthy learning environment’ and establishing a center of ‘educational excellence’. In keeping with these goals, there are a set of ‘roles and responsibilities’ outlined for the Trust/Society—

  • It must be non-proprietary in nature and none of its members should be relatives.
  • Trust/Society should see to it that school operations are not commercialized and are run for community service.
  • It must ensure that the school land and building are as per the norms of the board, that the school is well supplied and has qualified staff on its payroll.
  • It must ensure that the school is run as per the provisions of the Education Act and affiliation norms of the CBSE.
  • It must have control over the School Management Committee and shall approve the tuition fees etc.
  • It must ensure recurring and non-recurring funds for the school

Complete details about the roles, responsibilities, and powers of the Trust/Society are detailed under CBSE bye-laws document.

2. Land and Infrastructure

The school must have about 1.5 to 2 acres of land including the building and the playground. In case the school is to be set up in a metropolis, or a city with a population of 25 lakhs or more, the land area must be no less than 1 acre. This area would include the school building and an additional area for ‘physical & health education’ and games must be arranged in an understanding with any other organization if the Trust/Society does not own the land. In all, the area must be not less than 2 acres. The school land must be owned or held on lease for no less than 30 years.

The schools in the hilly areas, north-eastern states and capital Land and Building requirements for CBSE affiliation cities applying for affiliation must have 1 acre of land at their disposal. The minimum land area requirement for scenarios like that of National Capital Territory (NCT) and some other cities have been relaxed through an amendment in the CBSE bye-laws. The list of the locations and corresponding minimum land area requirement are discussed in detail in a separate article ‘land and infrastructure requirements for CBSE affiliation’, click here to read.

3. Teachers and other staff

Recruitment constitutes the most critical aspect of opening a CBSE school. As per the CBSE guidelines, the optimum teacher section ratio is 1:1.5. Besides employing qualified heads and teachers at all levels including primary, secondary and senior secondary, the school has to appoint Special Educator, Health and Wellness Teacher also.

The salaries and allowances are to be paid according to the Central/State Govt. norms. The remuneration of the teachers has to be paid through ECS. The financial documents that are to be maintained by the school applying for affiliation include the certificate from the bank stating that the salaries of the employees are paid through ECS by the school management.

There are specifications for Heads and Teachers for CBSE affiliated schools, for instance, a secondary school Head must have a master’s or equivalent degree from any recognized university along with a teaching degree with 5 years of experience of teaching Higher Secondary classes OR have a bachelor’s degree from any recognized university, a B.Ed. and 8 years of teaching experience in secondary classes. Likewise, there are directives regarding the minimum qualifications and experience for teachers of different subjects. Details are listed under Chapter ix of CBSE bye-laws document.

It is of fundamental importance to make no Your next teacher hire is here! compromises with regard to the qualifications prescribed in the bye-laws of CBSE at the time of recruiting teachers. While planning the initial teachers’ recruitment drive or hiring replacements reliable human resource repository like educatorOne.com can be looked at, it saves valuable time and ensures availability of well-qualified educators for creating a niche for school in the increasingly competitive education sector.

4. School Management Committee

CBSE mandates the formation of a School Management Committee for every private school. There are stipulations about who would the SMC members be and what would be the functions of SMC. The main points regarding the constitution of the SMC are given below,

  • The SMC of a private school can have no more than 21 members.
  • The head of the School will be the Secretary of the SMC.
  • Two parents of the two separate students of the school and two from the teaching staff will be in membership
  • Two teachers from other school or college will be appointed as members
  • No relative of SMC member will be appointed as the school Principal

These guidelines regarding the constitution of the SMC must be strictly adhered to for detailed list visit the aforementioned CBSE bye-laws link. The School Management committee, besides ensuring the observance of the CBSE affiliation norms will also oversee the finances and provision of school supplies including furniture, science equipment, books for the library, teaching aids, and sports material. School promoters must ensure that the school management committee has access to dependable state of the art school supplies stores like schoolsupermart.com




Online application for CBSE Affiliation


Registering the school online and online application

School promoters must get their school registered with the CBSE on the board’s official website. Prior to the application, a set of documents must be readied for uploading and fee of affiliation checked. The amount for approval for running syllabus for middle schools i.e. class 8th is 50,000 Rs., for provisional affiliation till class 10th the fees is 150,000 Rs and in case the school is already affiliated till class 8th and is applying for up gradation the fee is 100000 Rs. Affiliation fees is to be deposited online through NEFT/debit card/credit card or online banking.

Thereafter, the school promoters should fill the online application form after going through the bye-laws and instructions by accessing the website link  http://cbseaff.nic.in/

Scanned copies of documents related to the trust/society/section 8 company, NOC from the state education department, documents of ownership of school land and other documents related with the municipal amenities and finances must be uploaded while making the online application for CBSE affiliation. The documents required for CBSE affiliation are detailed in a separate article, click here to read.


The documents required for CBSE affiliation are detailed in a separate article.


The steps that school promoters must take after making the online application for affiliation with CBSE

  1. Postal correspondence with the board

After application and online fee submission the photocopies of the documents mentioned above must be posted to the CBSE. Expect the board to send a letter intimating you the details of the Inspection Committee that has been assigned the task of school’s inspection. The school management has to correspond with the members and decide on a date of inspection.

2. Arrangements and Preparation for the Inspection

When the school has been readied in all respects, preparation for an inspection that comes prior to the grant of affiliation must commence. The IC accreditation depends upon the level of compliance with the standards. The IC carries a proforma wherein the recordings and observations about the school conditions and its readiness are made. The land records and salary structures of the employees besides the school infrastructure and audit reports attesting school’s financial stability etc. are central aspects. The school management must be mindful and prepare thoroughly for the inspection to preclude an event of rejection. In the event of rejection, a reapplication would be in order after a prescribed span of time which must be utilized to implement the recommendations made by the committee and the aspects that are underscored for attention by the IC.

Once the inspection has been undertaken by the Inspection Committee, it becomes incumbent on it to draft and table its report regarding the suitability of the school for affiliation along with the school’s file. The school management can keep tabs on the progress of the school’s affiliation online. The affiliation will follow in about 2 months of submission of the IC’s report and the school’s file. Once approved by the IC, the affiliation will be granted to the school.

There are around 18,000 schools in India affiliated to CBSE as of now. The board is well known across the country as it conducts many gateway exams for the institutes of higher education including national level engineering and medical entrance exams, Central Teachers Eligibility Test etc. It is notable that the central board’s curriculum is designed and revised by the NCERT and comes as an added advantage in national and state level government competitive exams for students. School promoters usually start with the state board affiliation and subsequently apply for a switch over to CBSE. The choice is guided by several factors. To refer to differences between the CBSE and state boards, click here to read.


Differences between the CBSE ans state board


CBSE is the leading national school certificate examination conducting board. It is followed by the CISCE as far as national boards of affiliation in India is concerned. A comparative assessment of CBSE and ICSE boards is available in a separate article, click here to read.


A comparative assessment of CBSE & ICSE


Though many education programs, national and international, are in the fray the schools affiliated to the board are seen throughout the country as viable and successful preparatory pre-university institutions. CBSE also runs schools in some countries besides India too. While IB and IGCSE are seen as synonymous with global education in India, CBSE international and CBSE premium schools are the initiatives of the board taken in view of the need for international orientation of school education within the bounds of affordability. We have attempted a comparative analysis of IB, IGCSE, ICSE and CBSE in another article, click here to read.


A comparative analysis of IB, IGCSE & ICSE


CBSE board and schools affiliated to it enjoy a reputation of efficiency and transparency in operations.

For assistance on any aspect of opening a CBSE school or obtaining CBSE affiliation, up gradation or CBSE switch over of an existing school, contact us.


Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.


Deepali Dhruv

August 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm

In case the affiliation Bye-laws change, will my affiliation application which was rejected earlier for the insufficiency of infrastructure be reviewed?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 10, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    It depends on the board to put the changes in retrospective effect. yet most likely you will have to apply again and, in case, the bye-law relevant to your case is changed in your benefit it will still take time to be on the scene.


August 10, 2018 at 7:58 am

is there a law under RTE to accommodate students even if they show up in middle of the academic year?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    No there is no such directive. RTE does not disrupt educational process it aims at academic equity.


August 9, 2018 at 11:55 pm

I already started a CBSE school till class X. I want to start IB diploma programme for senior secondary. I have been healing that it is not feasible for CBSE students to cope with IBDP and i will find it difficult to retain students. Is it really an incompatible arrangement as i have seen certain schools doing it.

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    yours is not an unheard of case at all. in fact, a majority of schools starting IB face the problems of curricular inconsistency between IB and other boards including CBSE , ICSE and even IGCSE. the CBSE or ICSE schools which successfully run IBDP keep the option for students open to opt for CBSE or ICSE in class 11th and 12th. and those who want to take up IB can do so. In fact, CBSE students have shown great potential in scoring highly in IBDP.

Neha kaul

August 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm

I have opened a new school which is till class 5. my plan is to add higher classes very quickly. The school is made on CBSE guidelines and we use NCERT books. I am going to open class 6th and 7th and apply for CBSE affiliation, can i call my school a CBSE school while promoting it.

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 10, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    No, primary schools are not affiliated to boards, they are just recognized by state or any international organization along with the state. you have to apply for running middle class syllabus till class 8th and only then you can promote children to class 7th if you want it to carry CBSE credentials. do not use “CBSE affiliated” in advance in any case.


August 9, 2018 at 10:23 am

It has been in the news that school timings are going to be extended to make time for the sports period. it is said that the salaries of teachers would have to be raised in this arrangement? will this be mandatory for private CBSE schools?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 10, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    If such a directive comes into effect, it will apply to all CBSE schools. You submit EPF and ESIC records and if you expect the teachers to work more, you would agree, it is only fair that they are paid more.

Shiv Narain

August 9, 2018 at 7:32 am

Do extracurricular activities like sports have a set minimum budget in CBSE bye-laws?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 10, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    No, first of all sports is a co-curricular activity not an extra -curricular one. no directive regarding investment on sports, or for that matter, any curricular segment is set by the board. Resources have to be adequate and you have to give what it takes for it to be adequate.

Sumit Seth

August 8, 2018 at 8:36 am

CBSE organizes teacher training programs, is there any recorded material which can be used by schools as per their requirements?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Teacher training material is supplied to the schools in timely manner by the board itself. There is no such outlet, to the best of our knowledge where you can get the teacher training material for a price. Training programmes organized by CBSE are founded on thorough research of the pedagogical scenario and it is very essential for the teachers to attend every training programme that is meant for them.


August 7, 2018 at 11:35 am

I am running a sr. secondary CBSE school with 3 streams, I want to start offering vocational streams with subjects like entrepreneurship, commercial art etc. Can I apply for affiliation to vocational subject’s from class 11th onwards?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Getting affiliation for running vocational stream for a private institution is not usual as it is considered challenging. The infrastructure, resources, instructors and teachers required for sustaining subjects of the vocational stream are substantial. The affiliation for vocational subjects will have to be taken at the secondary level too as there are school certificate exams in class Xth too. The range of vocational subjects is wide say, from Geospatial technology to fashion designing or financial market management to food production besides the ones you mentioned. It is vital to assess how many of these would you be able to offer your students. To have the resources to give students what they expect while opting for vocational stream is a tremendous responsibility, if one can do that it is very rewarding.

Arindam Chattejee

August 6, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Is it possible for a private school to apply only CTET qualified teachers or use CTET scores to employ teachers?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    There is no rule or law preventing any private unaided school to set the terms of eligibility like CTET qualified. However, it will be extremely difficult for you to find teachers for all subjects and disciplines that are CTET qualified. First, around 6 to 8 percent qualify and that’s the all India average and recruiting on the basis of scores of a one –day exam only can be a little short-sighted. You should concentrate on the academic record and professionalism of the teacher rather than CTET as an all-encompassing mark of competence.


August 6, 2018 at 9:31 pm

I run IB PYP curriculum, I want to apply for affiliation of CBSE, can I directly apply for provisional affiliation for secondary classes IX and X. Do I have to necessarily get affiliated to CBSE for class 7th and 8th or I can directly go for affiliation from class 9th?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    It is advisable to apply for Middle Class Syllabus approval for class 7th and 8th. In any event, you will be using the CBSE and IB name for positioning your school, you would not, I believe, like to mention that class 7th and 8th are unaffiliated. Not mentioning it thus amounts to declaring that they are affiliated, so it is proper to get the approval for running NCERT syllabus, which is anyway what you would be doing.

Rohit Prasad

August 6, 2018 at 11:16 am

I am running a CBSE school with a provisional affiliation till class X. I am applying for sr. secondary affiliation. Besides that, we want to start class IX and X IGCSE for which more students (from within the school and outside) have applied than I have seats. Can I select them through an exam or on the basis of merit? It has come to my knowledge that I cannot take recourse to any discriminatory practice, what is the right course of action?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    appeal of the new course with the international tag attached is understandable. You will have to use your discretion in dealing with the applications of your own students as you cannot reject it simply like an external application. If the raised cost is not deterring them, you will have to counsel both parents and students for which you can seek help of Cambridge International representative. Using merit list is viable but counselling of the child is the best course to take.


August 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

My school have been denied affiliation by the CBSE as the teachers do not possess required qualification. I have been informed, the board grants time and exemption in the matter of teacher’s qualification for the schools in regions where the availability of teachers is low. Is there any way to get the board to reconsider?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    You will have to understand that the rejection on the ground of ill-qualified teachers comes only if a majority of the teachers in your employ do not have the requisite degrees and are, most likely, paid low. And as far as the question of general unavailability of teachers is concerned, if the region is deemed to be one of such cases the board must have considered and given you time. After all, are there really no schools in your area with qualified teachers? It is pointless to mull over reconsideration as inadequacy of qualification directly has a bearing on the future of the students and unless you correct that affiliation is hard to come by.

    Before arriving at a decision to start a school, aspiring school promoters must take into consideration the availability of teachers in the target location.


August 5, 2018 at 7:05 am

I am planning to apply for affiliation from CBSE. CBSE bye-laws say that I can have an understanding with another organization for arranging the space for sports and physical education classes. Can I associate with a preschool near my school for sports and Physical Education?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I don’t think that it would be practical or proper to associate with a playschool for sports and physical education purposes for school children. For one it would not have the required space, given it is a preschool. It will also be inimical for the environment of the playschool itself. Furthermore, the total area after the collaborative arrangement with other organization the total area at the school’s disposal must not be lesser than 2 acres and the collaboration with any organization must be based on transparent and legitimate terms with no violation or irregularity.


August 5, 2018 at 6:08 am

We run a school which secured provisional affiliation in 2015, although we have taken steps to maintain quality of teachers and infrastructure etc as per the CBSE guidelines the strength of the school has been decreasing for the last two years. Some people have suggested to us that if the strength keeps falling CBSE is liable to withdraw our school’s affiliation, is it correct?

    Vinod Kakumanu

    August 8, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    CBSE does not deny or withdraw affiliation basing it on the enrollment trend of the school. The drop in the strength is not one of the criteria per se. However, if the decreased rate of admissions is indicative of deep-seated problems involving school management, teaching standards etc. the board may take cognizance and scrutinize the practices of the school before deciding to withdraw affiliation.

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