Education for all: A step by step guide to open a school in India

Over the years, the government has taken various initiatives to make educational institutions accessible to the society at large in a bid to ensure education for all. Although government schools are the largest provider of elementary education in our country with over 80% of all recognised schools being run or supported by the government, but still the demand for private schools is on the rise. We need more and more good quality competent schools to spread the social cause of education and to increase the literacy rate in India.

Investing your money in an educational enterprise is a promising proposal as it is a prospering sector with an extending demand for schools. With 99% of the children not being enrolled in an organised preschool, there is a huge untapped potential in the education sector. If you are exploring the idea of opening your own school but are daunted by the whole procedure, here we are with a step by step guide to ease out the process for you:

1. Prepare a blue print

The very first step to start a school is to plan everything in advance. Develop a business plan on how your school is going to operate over its first five years. Plan the location, faculty, teaching subjects etc. This plan will act as a blue print, on the basis of which your school will operate in future.

2. Develop a budget

After making the blue print, the next important step is to arrange your finances. To open a play school anywhere in India is going to fetch a minimum of Rs 6-8 lakhs from your account. A primary school will require an investment of about Rs 8-10 lakhs. For setting up a 10+2 school, the cost can go up to Rs 2 crores. Plan your budget distribution in building the school, making furniture, recruiting the staff, advertisement charges etc.

3. Associate with a trust or society

In most areas any school with classes up till kindergarten can be opened as a proprietorship/private limited company/trust/society/LLP etc. However, schools running from classes 1 onwards needs to be run under a registered trust or society.

4. Finding a suitable land

The next step is to acquire land for your school. You will require a 2000 sq.ft of area on the ground floor for a play school. The selected land for opening a primary school should be around 6000 sq ft to 7000 sq ft, while a senior school will need an area of upto 2 acres. After getting an NOC from the Department of Education, you can buy the land from land owing agencies. Instead of buying a land, you can also take it on lease but with rental agreement for at least 30 years.

5. Start early

Once you finalise the land, start planning its construction without delay. Appoint a contractor or an architect to design your school’s building and its office. When opening a school, it is important to take care that you have students’ safety measures in place, big playgrounds, colourful classes, proper ventilation and sanitation etc.

6. Approach the Department of Education for recognition

After your school is ready and all the construction work is finished, the next step is to get the recognition. Apply to the Department of Education of the State Government for your school’s recognition.

7. Recruiting qualified staff

Appoint the Head of your school and your business manager. Start interviewing candidates and select qualified and experienced staff for office, subject experts as teachers, full time maids etc.

8. Promotional strategies

Promote your school through newspaper advertisements, brochures, hoardings, banners etc. Design a website and set up a mailing list to keep interested parents in touch with your progress.

9. Pre-launch

After promoting your school, open the school office and begin admission interviews. Ask your appointed teachers to plan curriculum, teaching strategies, learning environment, buy teaching aids etc.

10. Opening ceremony

You can schedule a formal opening ceremony, which will be a festive occasion, before or after one week from the beginning of your school’s session. Prepare a welcome speech addressing students and their parents about your goals and how your school is going to benefit the society. Arrange a feast for the guests.

The above 10 steps give you an outline of how to open your own school. If you are a beginner and lack experience in this field, the whole process of setting up a school can be extremely strenuous, and may even end up in a failure if you take some wrong decisions. This is where a good school franchisee model comes into place. Taking up a school franchise makes this entire process hassle-free for you. You can operate under the franchisors trademarks and receive an entire package comprising all the elements necessary to establish you in the sector and run it with continual assistance on ongoing basis. So, go ahead and jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey!

(Author Amol Arora is Vice Chairman and MD, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools. Views expressed here are personal)

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