Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!
  • +91 95133 77282 / 83 / 84 / 85 ( 9 AM - 6 PM | Mon - Fri )

How to Start a New School in India?

How to Start a New School in India?

Posted on January 10, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Starting a school in India is a venture many like to explore. Owing to the state policies regarding private schools which involves securing multiple licenses and permissions, opening a school can turn unduly strenuous. This need not be so daunting. We have detailed the procedure to start a school in India for the ease of school promoters in this article.


The private school venture, both in terms of establishment Need help to start a school in India? and gaining  investment returns, highly depends on the policies formulated by Ministry of Human Resource Development and states’ education department. School establishment and recognition laws in India are made by both the states and the center and certain facets may change from one state to another.

The process of opening a private school is pretty direct but it involves several steps and components which demand time and dedicated resources. A set of principles must be followed to set up a new school successfully.
The guidelines for starting a private school in India are explained as under —

1.Decide the type of the school you want to start

The school can be a Playschool, Pre- Primary, Primary, Secondary or K-12. At this point, one has to decide how many grades would there be in the beginning. School promoters can decide to start the school with a small number of grades with a vision of increasing the number with time or they may plan to launch the school with both lower and higher grades.

A primary school will not be affiliated to any board of education. It should have the recognition form the State/UT department of education. After the primary school starts running class V, it can apply for approval for Middle Class  Syllabus form Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and start class VI to VIII. School promoters can also choose to start an International Baccalaureate (IB) School or ICSE school. In every case the school has to be started first and then attempts for affiliating it to any given board has to be made.

In case the school promoter starts a school till class VIII or higher, he/she has to get affiliation from the state board. A state board school can eventually apply for secondary and/or senior secondary affiliation from CBSE, CISCE, IB or IGCSE.

2. Associate the school with a Trust or Society or Section 8 company

To start a private school, association with either a trust or society or a section 8 company is a must. It can be a pre-existing trust or society or can be a newly formed one.   A trust or society operating a school in states of India must be registered under the state’s Trust Act or Indian Societies Registration Act 1860. The trust or society thus established is not -for -profit organization. If a company is sponsoring the new school, it should be registered under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.

The trust or a society has to have a minimum of three members to get registered. The said trust or society must comprise of a ‘School Governing Board’ with three officially declared members namely the President, Secretary, and Chairman. The board additionally has two or three other members. It is preferable for these members to have educational or social work credentials.

The school board must acquire a ‘Memorandum of Association’ from the educational trust.

3. Acquiring land or appropriating a Land for Establishing School

Land for establishing a school can be purchased or leased. If the school promoters already possess a land, they must get it approved for educational use by municipal and the education department of the concerned state. The minimum size of land required depends upon the type of school, the location i.e. rural, urban and its location relative to the city limit. Also, different boards have their own minimum land area requirements.

Before proceeding to procure land for the school the need of a Looking to BUY, SELL or RENT school property? new school in the given area must be recognized by the Department of Education (DoE) of the state. For this, the department issues an ‘Essentiality Certificate (EC)’. The certificate establishes that the new school is indeed essential for the area for which it is proposed and is not superfluous. This certificate is, in effect, the NOC for the school building construction. Municipal authority’s certification is also required. Other considerations include the environment that would host the school and availability of amenities that makes it fit for children like drinking water etc. After obtaining the EC construction must begin within 3 years or it expires. As education industry is characterized by its non –profit facet, the land being bought for the school building construction can be obtained from an agency at highly subsidized rates after a letter of sponsorship is acquired from the municipal authority.

For the convenience of school promoters an online school land and Infrastructure portal, “SchoolProp.com is available, schoolprop.com facilitates the listing of land, Infrastructure and school buildings suitable for establishing schools ranging from playschool to senior secondary schools.

4. School Master Plan and School Architecture

School building plan must be approved by the state board and if the plan is to gain national board affiliation, respective bye-laws must be kept in mind. The specifications pertaining to the school architecture include the number of classrooms, library, offices, assembly hall, labs, facilities, auditorium and area of the playground/play area, for CBSE and ICSE schools the minimum land area is specified.

The blueprint of the school building facade and interior must be complete when the application for the state board affiliation is made.

5. Defining Mission and Vision of the School

There must be a clearly defined and drafted institutional mission and vision. The guiding principles and philosophy of the new school are outlined in the vision and mission statement clarifying the relevance of the school in terms of community wherefrom the students are drawn. The educational outcomes envisioned by the school and the curriculum orientation must be clearly delineated along with the method of assessment of the scholastic development of the students and school’s effectiveness. It is customary to define the social goals of the private school as an enterprise in the educational sector is seen in terms of its social dimensions.

6. Applying for Recognition and Affiliation

It is mandatory for a new school to have State Board recognition/affiliation. State board affiliation is granted if the NOC to use the land for the educational purpose, school infrastructure, amenities for children and staff as recommended are in place.  After the school is operational an application for provisional affiliation can be made to CBSE. In case an ICSE affiliation is desired, the time passed after school establishment and state recognition is more. The process of applying for affiliation must be according to the bye-laws of the board to which the application is to be made. A list of licenses and approvals that are to be annexed with the application can be obtained from the board’s website.  Initially, provisional affiliation is granted after an inspection by the inspection committee of the board visits the school and makes recommendations. In case any deficiency is found in the school, time is granted to remedy that. In case the affiliation is not granted, a reapplication has to be made after a year or more, depending on the board. We have written separate articles on how to secure affiliation from CBSE and ICSE. For knowing the procedure for starting a CBSE school, click here.


Know the procedure for starting a CBSE school


For knowledge of the process of starting an ICSE school, click here.


Know the procedure for starting a ICSE school


In case the school promoters want to start an international school i.e. IB or Cambridge read our posts How to start an IB school anywhere in India? Or How to start school and get IGCSE affiliation?’


How to start an IB school in India?


How to start school and get IGCSE affiliated?


7. Drafting Financial Plan for the School Project

Financial plan of the new school is primarily for the master plan efficacy, establishment of the school and its operation. The plan contains the assessment of the feasibility of the school project. It contains the school setup outlay, details of the investment and revenue projections.

While drafting the business plan attention must be paid to the effect that every section of the financial plan must have its rationale in terms of academic goals and educational outcomes.  The financial plan also includes the breakup of costs. The sections which comprise the financial plan include land investment; infrastructure costs etc. school financial plan will also include the planned budget, organizational structure, and details of the administrative costs and the prospective board of affiliation.

Sourcing the investment is crucial. The investment can be acquired from banks for opening a school but that requires a perfectly drawn plan to convince the bank of the soundness of the idea. Every aspect is inspected by the prospective funder of the private school which can be a donor; private company etc.

It must be understood by school promoters that when you run a school you are essentially running various complimentary businesses like conveyance, canteen, stationery, books, and uniforms to name a few. The scenario obviously calls for a financial plan and expert resource planning. In all financial plan will need constant evolution so that School Feasibility Report remains as intended throughout its operational course.

8. Constituting School Committee

The school founding committee must comprise of efficient members who can rise up to the occasion of managing the school and manning the core management body that would evolve with the school’s progression. The body needs to have experts, preferably people with vision and experience in the area of education. Besides educationists, people with knowledge of legalities, accounts, business, and architecture will prove to be of a great resource for any private school.

9. Hiring of Teachers and Staff

The qualification and professionalism of the Your next teacher hire is here! teachers and staff is of central importance for a school’s success. The qualifications of the Principal and other academic staff are stipulated by the boards of affiliation. Besides that, accountant and administrative staff need to be hired.  Vacancies must be posted and Interviews must be conducted for academic and non-academic staff’s recruitment.

School Serv has led the way by establishing an online teachers’ repository named educatOrone.com which is an exclusive recruitment platform for schools ranging from primary to senior secondary.

10. School Promotion and Launch

In the final stages of new school establishment process comes the promotional advertising. To begin with the marketing plan, idea of a brand needs to be evolved. A constant influx of marketing ideas for the new school is desirable. A thorough study of the school’s catchment area and the competition around is critical for effective promotion. It is indeed easier if the help of school marketing consultant is sought after the consolidation of the idea of starting a private school.

The brand management of the school is a research-backed and specialized process. Promotional media campaign must be executed to this end. The brand strategy must be designed to reach out to the parents whose preferences are researched beforehand. Parent’s preferences primarily include the curricular affiliation and affordability. The premium must be put on online promotion and new school’s directory presence must be ensured. Then there arises the need for attention to the result of the promotion namely, the admissions. The rate of initial enrollment must be maximized. Enrollment details and procedures must be published online on the newly created dedicated website.

The competition needs to be assessed well. The upcoming private school will naturally face competition from the existing schools of repute. A distinct identity and niche carving must be strategized accordingly. This does not happen overnight and is a protracted process requiring consistent effort.

After sequential and planned efforts the school project materializes. There is no doubt about the good business prospects of a well-founded and well managed private school. Indian school education ecosystem has distinctive features. The emphasis placed on quality and competition among private schools drives innovation and best practices.  The success of the school, keeping all this in view, depends upon the ability to upgrade, adapt and the choice of solutions and school solution providers.

How to Start a CBSE School Anywhere in India?

Posted on December 19, 2017 | by Vinod Kakumanu


There could have hardly been a better time to start/open a CBSE school in India and get CBSE affiliation. We say so because we are witnessing a change of orientation of the board – the 2018 reforms in CBSE Affiliation Bye-Laws, which are by all accounts progressive. The curtailment of paperwork, credence to state-verified documents and attestations by CBSE board and vice – versa has simplified the process of CBSE affiliation.


Start CBSE School


The changes that have been made in the affiliation bye-laws 2018 are not just limited to the modus-operandi of the affiliation process but also cover all the aspects of school management, suggesting or mandating changes as necessary.

This article focuses on directing school promoters to start a school and get affiliated to CBSE in the wake of CBSE Affiliation Bye-Laws 2018. Bye-laws have been admittedly bifurcated into pre-affiliation and post-affiliation norms. The pre-affiliation norms apply for schools aspiring for a CBSE affiliation and the post-affiliation process applies to schools that are already inspected by the affiliation committee and their recommendations have been affirmative.

Notably, Central Board of SecondaryStart a CBSE School Education (CBSE) is the national board of school education that has 27783 affiliated schools to date with a student count of 2 crores instructed by 70 lakhs teachers. I believe changes of such proportion in an enterprise like CBSE are bound to have noteworthy effects on education in India.

The revamped affiliation bye-laws October 2018, which came into effect are expected to benefit many, not in the least the school promoters or eduprenurs who are seeking to start a school with CBSE affiliation. The move has come in response to the concerns about the complexity and volume of the previous bye-laws document that was hard to follow and comprehend independently.

The new avatar of the bye-laws document is concise and puts into effect several qualitative changes in the roles of the bodies, for instance, the priority shift in the affiliation- inspection committee, focus on learning outcomes and redefined role of teachers making it more wholesome and accountable.


CBSE provides affiliation to the schools within the country and abroad, the nomenclature used by CBSE for different types of affiliation is listed under –

  1. Approval for Middle Class Syllabus which implies issuance of permission by the board to run the board’s curriculum till class VIII.
  2. General Affiliation of a Secondary School or Senior Secondary School.
  3. Upgradation of a school approved for Middle Class Syllabus up to Secondary or Senior Secondary Level.
  4. Upgradation of an affiliated Secondary School up to Senior Secondary Level.
  5. Switch over of Schools upto Secondary and Senior Secondary Level. Schools already affiliated with other Boards of education are granted affiliation to CBSE under this category.
  6. Regular Affiliation of schools – One-time regular Affiliation will be granted to the schools run by Government and related societies like Central Schools, Navodaya Vidyalayas, Sainik Schools etc.

The single most differentiating measure that has been put into effect by the revamped affiliation bye-laws is the provision of mandatory composite affiliation. Earlier it was applicable to only selective categories. It will be mandatory for the schools to run all classes starting from the incipient class and up to the class for which affiliation has been granted. For Instance class 1st to 8th , class 1st to 10, from 6th to 8th ,6th to 10th , 6th to 12th . There are 2 provisions within the composite affiliation which to me is a paradigm shift, one of them is composite affiliation from class 1 to class 12 and the other is the concept of “Innovative Schools”. The composite affiliation afforded to the innovative schools is from class 9th to 10th and class 9th to 12th. The move opens up a big opportunity for mainstreaming alternative educational philosophies like Montessori, Steiner/Waldorf, etc

Initially, the affiliation to any of the private-unaided school expires in 3 years and renewal is subject to the board which will examine the consistency of the practices of the school in accordance with the bye-laws. This move has brought a lot of applause from all the stakeholders as it encourages a sustainable and integral approach.

Online applications for all categories open on 1st January and close by 31st March of a calendar year. Please refer Appendix-VI of Affiliation Bye-Laws for the detailed time frame of applications category-wise.


How to start a school in India?


Essential Conditions for Affiliation of Schools

CBSE recognizes the role of Trust/Society/Company running the school in providing ‘healthy learning environment’ and establishing a center of ‘educational excellence’. Essential conditions for affiliation of schools are outlined here —

  1. The establishment of the school – the application for affiliation has to be made by an existing school. The school could be set up, in case of private-unaided schools, by a registered non-proprietary society/trust /section 8 company. The schools cannot accept capitation fee or accept donations. We have covered the subject starting a new school in India in a separate blog post click here to read.
  2. Legal Registration or registration under the law – the school that is aspiring for affiliation to CBSE must be run by the society/trust/section 8 company which is legally registered under respective registration acts.
  3. School Management Committee – CBSE mandates the formation of a School Management Committee for every school affiliated to the board as stipulated in the Right to Education Act 2009. 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

– Head of the school is the member secretary of the SMC

– The SMC of a private school can have no more than 21 members.

– 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

– Not lesser than 50% women will form the SMC.

– The employment of teachers and the staff is incumbent on the SMC


Guidelines regarding the constitution of the SMC must be strictly adhered to, 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. For detailed roles and responsibilities refer Chapter 9, CBSE bye-laws 2018.

School promoters may procure reliable, state of the art school supplies from online stores like schoolsupermart.com




  1. State Government Recognition – any new school has to be recognized by the state or UT. This recognition bestowed by the government’s department of education is also understood to be an effective affiliation to the state board. The process is undertaken as per the stipulations of Right to Education Act 2009. At the time of applying for affiliation, the school shall submit the formal letter of recognition to the CBSE.
  1. No Objection Certificate from the State Government – The applicant schools must apply and acquire from the office of District Education Officer (DEO). DEO’s office becomes a vantage point, it clears the way by stating that the State does not have any objection regarding the school’s affiliation to CBSE. The NOC thus issued remains valid for an indefinite period for CBSE’s purpose even if there is a date put on it. NOC will stand admissible unless it is formally withdrawn by the issuing authority.
  1. Land – The school land must be owned/ leased by the trust /society/company. In the event of the lease, the minimum term of expiration must be 15 years.

The size of the land on Land and Building requirements for CBSE affiliationwhich the school building is planned to be constructed must be 8000 square meters (2 acres). The renewed emphasis of the CBSE on sports and physical education has increased the importance of the playground and sports infrastructure to a degree without precedent.

Keeping in view, the differences between the territory, demographics, level of urbanization and density of population, the land requirement has been benchmarked less than 2 Acres.

CBSE bye-laws expressly delineate the land required to establish a CBSE affiliated school in different regions of the country that are situated in the cities (beyond 15 lakh population), metropolitan cities, class X cities, cities within the National Capital Region, state capital cities, hilly areas, North Eastern States, J&K and the Islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep. In these places, land area requirement may vary from half an acre to 2 acres depending upon the category. The exact land requirement for your location must be in accord to Chapter 3 of the CBSE affiliation Bye-Laws 2018. 

It must be noted that the concession made in the minimum land requirement accompany conditions of limiting the enrollments and the number of sections for each grade.

  1. The physical Infrastructure of the school must also be in accordance o the revamped CBSE bye-laws for opening a CBSE school. The minimum dimensions for the –
    1. Classroom is 8 x 6 meters (~ 500 sq.ft)
    2. Computer lab and laboratories is 9 x 6 meters (~ 600 sq.ft)
    3. Library is 14 x 8 meters (~ 1206 sq. ft)

Specific details are listed under Chapter 4 of the Affiliation Bye- Laws 2018.

  1. Website – schools applying for affiliation are required to host a website and maintain it. The website must be exclusively used by the school for important declarations, information or for administrative ends etc.
  1. Documents Needed – the application for affiliation is submitted on-line, accompanying it are the scanned copies of documents. The complete list of the documents that are required at the time of application is listed in our blog post titled documents required while applying for CBSE Affiliation. They are also available as annexures II, III, IV in CBSE Affiliation Bye-Laws 2018
  1. The letter of intent—the letter of intent is issued by the CBSE basing it on the completion of conditions and favorable report from the Inspection Committee.

The affiliation to any board simultaneous to CBSE is not allowed for any school that intends to accommodate both batches in the same infrastructure and space. In other words, Dual Affiliation is not allowed.


Online Application

The Bye-Laws necessitate that the entire process goes online. The application and the subsequent procedure has been listed for the optimal understanding of the school promoters.

School promoters must get their school registered with the CBSE on the board’s official website. Prior to the application, scanned copies of the prescribed documents must be readied for uploading and promoters must be ready to pay the affiliation fee as per  Appendix-1 CBSE Affiliation Bye-Laws 2018. 

The Affiliation InspectionThe affiliation inspection committee comprises at least 2 people, one of them is an academician. The suitability of the school for becoming a CBSE affiliated school will be judged through the assessment of several aspects including teaching methods, learning outcomes and overall academic standards maintained by the school.

CBSE would mostly concentrate on pedagogical styles being employed, the status of sports and games, student –counselor relationship, academics, reading habits and browsing habits of the students and other such subjects which ultimately arrive at raising the standard of education.

The schools are instructed to pay an annual sports fee which will be subject to change from time to time on the CBSE Board’s discretion.  The school will send students representing the school in various inter-school sports and games competitions, rules related to the participation in the inter-school competition will be directed by CBSE.

If an “innovative school” apply for affiliation with the CBSE it will have to demonstrate how useful is its way of teaching & learning besides the suitability of pedagogical styles within the context of the K-12 school system in India.

Commencement Certificate must be earned by the school by applying via the grant letter stating that all the conditions have been met.

The changes in the bye-laws of affiliation will shift the perspective of the inspectors, the need for the training of teachers will be better assessed and they will be oriented to the learning needs of the 21st Century.

For curricular implementation, the schools will get their due of expert guidance from the academicians. The ones who want to start a school will have the obvious benefit of the fast-tracked process of affiliation. As for the existing schools—affiliated or candidate for affiliation– the entire effort and thought will not be invested in infrastructural superficialities. They will have the time and need to reflect upon obtaining and maintaining the desired levels of education.

Difference between the CBSE and state boards


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 and 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, CBSE and 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 switchover of an existing school, contact us.

Want to Start a School in India ?