Starting a School in India – Business Plan, Procedure & Cost Estimation

how to start school in india

Schools in India come under the Non-Profit Organizations and are registered under the section 8 of the Companies Act 2013. One can also open a school under the Societies Act of 1860. Opening a school in India depends on various laws regulated both by the center and the state. It also depends where you are starting your school and which board of education you are adopting. Here is a brief guide on how to start a school and its cost estimation in India.

Make a Brief Blueprint of Your School

There are various factors involved in the opening of a school in India. The first important point is that there are various levels of categorizations on which a school is opened. Schools can be for lower KG, upper KG, from class 1 to 6 or from 1 to 8, from class 1 to class 10 or from class 1 to class 12th. If the class exceeds up to 9-12th then you require your school to be registered from a certain board operating in India. Opening a school also depends on the place where you are starting your school. If you are opening your school in metro cities then there are different rules whereas opening school in towns or rural areas require different categorization.

Based on all such issues here is the list of issues that must be address while opening a school in India.

Requirement of Land for Starting a School

One definitely needs a good space to open up a school. Requirement of land depends on two factors. The first factor is the status of the place where you want to open the school. For example, the minimum requirement for opening a school in metropolitan city is different from that of a town or rural area. The second factor is the board through which your school is affiliated. There are basically 4 boards that majorly operate in India. They are:

  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
  • Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (ISC/ICSE)
  • International Board (IB)
  • State Boards of 29 States in India

Requirement of Land Based on Place and Board: CBSE Board

  • In a Metropolitan City: If you want to open up a school in cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai or Bangalore then you need to have a minimum requirement of 1 Acre land or 4000 sq. meter of land for operating school from pre-primary to class 12th. For operating school from pre-primary to class 10th you need to have at least half an acre of land or 2000 sq. meters of land.
  • City with the Population of more than 15 Lakhs: From Pre-primary to class 12th a minimum requirement of 1 acres of land or 2047 sq. meters of land
  • Other Cities: A minimum of 1.5 acres of land is required to run a school in small cities based on CBSE norms.

CBSE also caters a category level for schools like A+, A and B category schools. An A+ category schools should have permanent affiliation with land area not less than 2 acres.

Requirement of Land Based on Place and Board: CISCE

For a school affiliated to CISCE, a minimum requirement of 2000 sq. meter of land is necessary with each classrooms to be not less than 400 sq. feet in size.

State boards have their own requirement which can be read on their respective websites.

Construction of School Building

Based on the board guidelines school building should be constructed. Like a minimum class size should be of 400 sq. feet with a library, arts room, amphitheater, science lab, computer lab, stage, playground, etc.

Starting a School and NOC

After the construction of school building is over it is time to open the school. For this there are various process through which one has to go. The first requirement is to get a Non objection certificate from the state government. Only after getting an NOC you can operate your school. Many schools are operating in India without NOC and one should avoid going by that method as at the time of applying for affiliation you will be asked for NOC.

To apply for NOC you need to visit the state education department where there are different departments from where you need clearance. The method is transparent and it requires some basic documents like land details, land size, budget, etc.

Affiliation to Board

A minimum of one years of operation is required for schools to apply for CISCE and CBSE board while for IB it is three years. Before that you can open your school from pre-primary to class 8th but only after the school is operational from more than a year it will get affiliation. The respective boards also have their rules and parameters based on which they grant permission like land size, building construction, classroom size, playground, number of teacher, teacher’s qualification, EPF account, and other criteria mentioned in the board’s guideline that you can access on their website.

Setting up of School Structure

From appointment of Principal, head master, Vice Principal, associate teacher, assistant teacher, accounts department, lab assistants, computer experts, peons, supportive staffs, drivers, etc. to organizing each class, arranging infrastructure and furniture, purchasing basic devices, buying books for library, setting up of science lab, apparatus, models, computer labs, etc. requires a lot of time and capital. You have to do all of them. Try to go slow with time as setting up everything at once is neither possible not it is viable.

Appointment of Teacher and Principal

If you are going to apply for affiliation for any board then you must appoint teacher based on their parameters. There is a basic qualification requirement for each board like a teacher must be a post graduate, qualified NET, CTET, NTT, PGT, PTI, TGT, and B.Ed. For the appointment of principal many boards require at least a B.Ed. in addition to Masters. M.Phil. graduates are also the most viable candidates for the post of Principal.

Setting up of Accounts and EPF for Your Staff

An organization with more than 19 staffs should have a must EPF account. Nowadays every school wants their staffs to have a bank account where monthly salary is transferred. CISCE board also requires a mandatory condition of having EPF account of each staff for affiliation process.

Admission of Students and Parameters

Admission of student invites a test which is conducted by the school administration. The board also gives a standard which must be followed to admit students. Not more than 45 students be there in each classroom. Try to start your school slowly from lower KG and increase gradually to standard 8th and beyond. Parameters like a definite school uniform, school curriculum, syllabus, rules and regulation must be set up.

Fees Structure

You can decide the fees based on your expense and place of school. Based on the per capita income in the region you can determine the school fees. Private schools in metropolitan cities charge whooping sum of money per month. Determine the fees after taking advice from learned management graduates.

Cost of Starting a School in India

If you are planning to start a pre-nursery school then cost will be quite less. For a well structure affiliated school, startup cost estimation is quite huge. Take at least 2 crores a minimum sum to start your school and it can go further based on the place of operation, living standard, etc. Setting up a standard school will have its own implications like money spent in arranging furniture, gadgets, electronics, computer, maintenance, and other requirements.

Time Investment

Running a school requires a good investment of time. It will take at least 2-3 years to build a school and start it. At least 4-5 years will be needed to get NOC and affiliation from the day of foundation ceremony. The capital investment being huge also pushes the return on investment time further. Only after few years of operation one can accept any profit.

Running a school is a challenging job which requires investment of time, resources, capital and human labor. But it has its own advantages. After the gestation period you will be serving the society by imparting education, employing people, nourishing new minds and after all getting decent return. Based on your skills of running a business you can excel your profit.


1. What are the steps involved in starting a school in India?

The steps involved in starting a school in India are:
1. Research the Concept
2. Develop a Business Plan
3. Choose a School Location
4. Develop the School Infrastructure
5. Obtain Government Approval
6. Recruit Staff and Teachers
7. Admit Students
8. Evaluate and Improve the School

2. What are the legal requirements for starting a school in India?

There are various Indian laws which set out the requirements for establishing and maintaining a school in India.

The main pieces of legislation are:
1. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
2. The Employee State Insurance Act, 1948.
3. The Factories Act, 1948.
4. The Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
5.The Nationalacksurydation of Secondary Schools Rules, 1966.

The requirements for setting up a school will vary depending on the type of school and the level of education offered. For example, setting up a kindergarten will require different approvals and compliance with different regulations than setting up a higher education institution.

3. What are the costs associated with starting a school in India?

The costs associated with starting a school in India vary depending on the type of school, the location, and the size. However, some of the general costs include the cost of land, construction, furniture, and equipment. Additionally, the school will need to be registered with the local authorities and the cost of textbooks and other teaching materials will need to be considered.

4. What are the challenges involved in starting a school in India?

There are a number of challenges involved in starting a school in India. These include:
1. Finding a suitable location for the school
2. Securing the necessary approvals and licenses from the government
3 Procuring the adequate furniture, equipment and resources
4 Hiring experienced and qualified staff
5 Promoting the school and attracting students

5. How can I make my school stand out in the Indian education market?

There are many ways to make your school stand out in the Indian education market. One way would be to offer a unique curriculum that is not offered at other schools in the area. Another way would be to have a strong reputation for academic excellence.

6. What are the trends in the Indian education market?

One of major trends in the Indian education market is to increase parental involvement in their children’s education. Research shows that increases in parental involvement, including parental monitoring of children’s school performance and homework and providing support for their children’s learning, are associated with increased student achievement, better retention in and completion of school, and fewer behavioural problems among students. In addition, parents are increasingly turning to private tutors and schools to supplement their children’s education. The number of families using private tutors has nearly doubled in the past decade, and the number of private schools has also been growing rapidly.

7. What is the future of the Indian education market?

The future of the Indian education market is bright. The education sector is growing rapidly, and the demand for quality education is high. The government is investing heavily in education, and the private sector is also playing a significant role in the development of the education sector. Many new schools and colleges are being established, and the number of students enrolling in colleges is increasing. The competition in the education sector is also increasing, and this is leading to improved quality of education.

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