How to open a School in India, “Steps & Timelines”

How to open a School in India, “Steps & Timelines”

How to open a School in India, “Steps & Timelines”

How to Open a School In India, "Steps & Timelines"

The ideal duration to open a new school project in India spans 18 months (0-550 days), encompassing activities from Project Feasibility and Market Research to Construction and, ultimately, the School Launch. This timeline & steps involved in “How to open a new school in India” affords clients ample time to adeptly oversee and systematically address all essential elements, ensuring a well-balanced and efficient execution.


Step 1. Appointing School Consultants or School Advisory Team | Day 1

Step 2. School Project Planning | Days 0-45

Step 3. Establish a Trust/Society/Section 25 company | Days 45-60

Step 4. Finalization of land to open the school | Days 0-60

Step 5. Appointing School Architects to design the new school | Days 45-60

Step 6. Master Plan & Building Elevation for establishing new school project in India | Days 45-105

Step 7. Building Approval & Permission required to open a new school in India | Days 75-105

Step 8. Appointment of school construction agency & PMC team for the new school project | Days 85-105

Step 9. Construction Activity & Interiors Work for the new school project | Days 105-430

Step 10. Branding & Market Positioning Strategy to open a new school in India | Days 190-310

Step 11. Recruitment of Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff | Days 280-490

Step 12. Staff Joining & HR Policy Implementation for the new school project | Days 350-490

Step 13. Commencement of Admission Office for the new school project | Days 400-430

Step 14. Promotional Activities for the new school project | Days 400-550

Step 15. Academic Planning & Training for the new school project | Days 460-550

Step 16. Applying for School Permissions to start a school in India | Days 460-550

Step 17. School Commencement | Day 550

Step 1 - Appointing School Consultants or School Advisory TeamDay-1

To open a new school in India, the primary stage of initiating a new school project entails choosing the right school consultant, a key figure pivotal in facilitating efficient and indispensable planning parameters like

  • Market Research
  • Educational Trends and Innovations
  • Demographic Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Financial Viability
  • Curriculum Guidance
  • Branding and Marketing Strategy
  • Experience and Track Record

Click here to read more about how school consultants help you set up the school

Step 2 - School Project Planning(0-45) Days

To open a school in India, this phase holds paramount significance, as Market Research and Project Planning equip clients with the necessary insights on how to proceed, ensuring a balanced approach for factors such

  • Competition Awareness & Catchment Study
  • Development Scenarios
  • 10-Year Volume Addition Trends
  • Fee Structure & Fee Projection Recommendations
  • Facility Plans & Project USP
  • Phase-wise Development Area Chart
  • 10-Year HR Planning
  • Salary Structure & Salary Expenses
  • Affiliation Bye-Law Compliance
  • Business Model
  • Project Budget
  • P/L Account & ROI Analysis
  •  Project Timelines

Step 3 - Establish a Trust/Society/Section 8 company to open a school in India(45-60) Days

In India, schools can be established under the aegis of a society/trust or a Section 8 company, depending on the preference of the founders and their specific goals. Both options have their own set of advantages and legal requirements. Here’s a brief overview of each:


  • Formation: A school can be established as a society or trust by forming a governing body or trust deed.
  • Registration: The society or trust needs to be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, respectively.
  • Management: Typically managed by a group of individuals who act as the governing body or trustees.
  • Tax Exemption: Can apply for tax exemption under Section 80G and 12A of the Income Tax Act.

Section 8 Company:

  • Formation: A Section 8 company is a non-profit organization formed under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • Registration: Requires approval from the Registrar of Companies (RoC). The company must have the words “Foundation,” “Association,” “Society,” “Council,” “Club,” etc., in its name.
  • Management: Governed by a board of directors, similar to a for-profit company. Profits, if any, must be reinvested in the organization.
  • Tax Exemption: Eligible for tax exemptions under Section 12A and 80G of the Income Tax Act.

Click here to read more about difference between Trust/Society/Section 8 company

Step 4 - Finalization of land to open the school(0-60) Days

Following the Feasibility and ROI Analysis, coupled with detailed planning insights from our school consulting team, clients find themselves ready to finalize the land for the envisioned project. Obtain necessary approval for land use change (CLU) to educational/institutional purposes.The land required to open a school in India is regulated based on the chosen educational board.

  • For CBSE schools, the land requirement for a new school varies between 1600 sqm and 6000 sqm, with a minimum requirement that differs between urban and rural areas.
  • In contrast, ICSE schools necessitate a minimum land area of 2000 sqm to initiate the establishment.
  • For schools following international curricula such as IB and Cambridge, the minimum land requirement is determined by the norms set by the respective state.

The key considerations to bear in mind before finalizing the land to open a new school are:

  • Location-proximity to subscriber base
  • Zoning and Regulations
  • Safety and Security
  • Size and Topography
  • Utilities and Infrastructure
  • Environmental Considerations
  • Future Growth and Expansion
  • Cost Considerations
  • Community and Neighbourhood
  • Legal Due Diligence

Click here to read more about Land Requirement to start a CBSE School in India?


Step 5 - Appointing School Architects to design the new school.(45-60) Days

After finalising land, the next step involves engaging school architects to kickstart the design development for the school building and campus. This is crucial for obtaining authorities’ approval on the drawings and commencing the construction phase of the project. Concurrently, as clients handle the Project Funding aspect, they can simultaneously pursue the appointment of architects to optimize the project timeline effectively. School Design stages are as follows:

  • Concept Design
  • Tender Package Development
  • Architectural Design
  • Structural Design
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Fighting & HVAC Design (MEP)
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Design

Step 6 - Master Plan & Building Elevation(45-105) Days

The school architecture team will start working on the Master Plan and Operational Floor Plans, incorporating input from consultants for efficient space use. Once approved, these plans will be submitted to government authorities. Simultaneously, the team will work on Building Elevations, Tender Development, and construction-related documents, with clients focusing on finalizing the Building Concept and Elevations within the initial 3.5 months.

Step 7 - Building Approval & Permission required to open a new school in India?(75-105) Days

After finalizing the master plan, building placement, area chart, and facility plan, the school architecture team collaborates with clients to submit the drawings for government approval, allowing construction to commence. Simultaneously, the team presents the building elevation concept. The building permissions & approvals required to open a new school are :

  • Zoning and Land Use Regulations
  • Submit a Building Permit Application
  • Architectural and Engineering Plans
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Public Hearings and Community Approval
  • Fire Safety and Building Code Compliance
  • Health and Safety Inspections
  • Accessibility Compliance
  • Utilities and Infrastructure Approval
  • Permit Fees and Financial Requirements

Step 8 - Appointment of school construction agency & PMC team for the new school project(85-105) Days

After client approval and securing project finances, the next step involves Tender Development and inviting contractor bids. Once the bidding process concludes, Civil and Structure work commences with site mobilization and labor deployment. Simultaneously, a site engineer/project management team is appointed to establish essential channels, implement a reporting system, and ensure quality control, maintaining oversight for on-schedule project delivery.

Step 9 - Construction Activity & Interiors Work for the new school project(105-430) Days

After receiving approval on the designs from authorities, construction work can commence. It becomes crucial for promoters to complete the construction of the school building, including landscaping and procuring furniture, approximately 4-5 months prior to the start of the academic session. Setting a cutoff date for construction timelines is essential, allowing clients 120 to 150 days for admissions, marketing, and ensuring the overall infrastructure is well-positioned to attract interested parents.

Step 10 - Branding & Market Positioning Strategy to open a new school in India(190-310) Days

The school project’s branding process initiates on day 0, extending over 180-190 days, with a four-month focus on designing brand elements crucial for marketing and admissions. This strategic process integrates brand positioning, marketing, and design work, encompassing the finalization of the school name, logo, brochure, website, and other collaterals. The phased exercise concludes after providing admission handling training for the team, ensuring a seamless connection between design and branding objectives.

  • Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
  • Branding
  • Online Presence
  • Content Marketing
  • Local Partnerships
  • Traditional Advertising
  • Digital Marketing
  • Community Engagement
  • Parent Ambassadors
  • Public Relations
  • Admission Offers and Incentives
  • Feedback Mechanism

Click here to read more marketing ideas to promote the school

Step 11 - Recruitment of Teaching & Non Teaching Staff for a new school.(280-490) Days

Upon finalizing branding, attention should turn to the 7-7.5 month recruitment plan for a new school project, prioritizing key personnel like the Principal, followed by the Accounts and Admissions teams. Teaching staff is typically onboarded 2-3 months before the academic year, ensuring adequate time for training and academic preparation before the school launch.

  • Identify Staffing Needs
  • Develop Job Descriptions
  • Establish Recruitment Criteria
  • Create a Recruitment Plan
  • Advertise Job Openings
  • Application Review
  • Conduct Initial Interviews
  • Skills Assessment
  • Reference Checks
  • Panel Interviews
  • Final Interview
  • Background Checks
  • Job Offers
  • Orientation and Training
  • Onboarding Process
  • Continuous Feedback and Evaluation

Step 12 - Staff Joining & HR Policy Implementation for the new school project(350-490) Days

In starting a new school project, phased staff onboarding aligns with project needs, ensuring a smooth start for the admission office and overall operations. Simultaneously, the administration framework, including SOPs, reporting mechanisms, ERP implementation, and a comprehensive HR Policy Framework, is finalized and staff are trained to adhere to relevant regulations.

Step 13 - Commencement of Admission Office for the new school project(400-430) Days

The establishment of the admission office while starting a new school takes place approximately 4-5 months before the initiation of the school’s inaugural academic session. This involves recruiting the necessary staff after finalizing the accounting system, completing branding efforts, and ongoing outdoor marketing activities. Parents are invited to visit the campus, facilitating their decision-making process for enrollment, with the support of an operational accounts team. The interior works for administrative areas, reception, admission zone, classrooms, and activity rooms should be fully completed during this period.

Step 14 - Promotional Activities for the new school project(400-550) Days

Promotional activities while opening a new school, kick off approximately 5 months before the school opening to maximize footfall and create awareness in the market about our upcoming school project. Detailed marketing planning, activities, and budgeting are finalized and executed over a span of 3-5 months. During this period, the admission team is established, the admission handling process is implemented, and the admission staff undergoes training. Collaborative efforts with local PR vendors, digital partners, and media partners are seamlessly integrated into promotional exercises to expand the reach and publicize the launch of the new school project.

Step 15 - Academic Planning & Training for the new school project(460-550) Days

While starting a new school, Academic planning, curriculum finalization, and teacher training for the new school project begin around three months before the academic session starts, aligning with the completion of the majority of teaching staff recruitment. The training covers various aspects such as parent communication, class management, lesson planning, and curriculum delivery to ensure successful implementation of the school’s academic vision.

  • Curriculum Development
  • Course Outlining
  • Professional Development Programs
  • Training Workshops
  • Resource Planning
  • Student Assessment Strategies
  • Parent-Teacher Communication Plan
  • Incorporate Special Education Needs (SEN)
  • Technology Integration
  • Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Student Orientation

Step 16 - Applying for School Permissions to start a school in India(460-550) Days


The school affiliation process in India involves several steps to ensure that educational institutions meet specific standards and criteria set by the affiliated board. Below is a general overview of the affiliation process, which may vary slightly depending on the board, such as CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education), or state boards:


  • Eligibility Criteria:-Schools need to meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the respective education board. This may include infrastructure requirements, qualified teaching staff, and adherence to educational norms.
  • Application Submission:-Schools interested in affiliation submit an application form provided by the education board. The application typically includes details about the school’s infrastructure, faculty, curriculum, and other relevant information.
  • Inspection Visit:-Education board officials conduct an inspection of the school premises.The purpose is to verify the information provided in the application and ensure that the school meets the required standards.
  • Document Verification:-The education board reviews and verifies documents submitted by the school, such as certificates, infrastructure details, and financial records.
  • Compliance Check:-The school’s curriculum, teaching methods, and assessment processes are assessed to ensure compliance with the board’s guidelines.
  • Fee Payment:Schools are required to pay the prescribed affiliation fees to the education board.
  • Approval and Affiliation:-Upon successful completion of the inspection and verification process, the education board grants affiliation to the school.The school is issued an affiliation certificate, and it becomes officially recognized by the board.
  • Ongoing Compliance:-Affiliated schools are expected to adhere to the ongoing compliance requirements set by the education board.Regular inspections may be conducted to ensure that standards are maintained.



Opening a school in India involves obtaining various documents and licenses to ensure compliance with legal and educational standards. The specific requirements can vary based on the state and educational board. Here is a general list of documents and licenses often required:


  • Land Documents:-Title deed or lease agreement for the land where the school is to be established. Land-use certificate indicating that the land is approved for educational purposes.
  • Non-Objection Certificate (NOC):-NOC from the state education department or relevant authority, indicating approval for establishing a school.
  • Society/Trust/Company Registration:-Certificate of registration for the society, trust, or Section 8 company responsible for operating the school.
  • Affiliation Certificate:-Affiliation certificate from the respective educational board (e.g., CBSE, ICSE) if seeking affiliation.
  • Building Plan Approval:-Approval from the local municipal corporation or development authority for the school building’s construction.
  • Health and Sanitation Certificate:-Certificate from the health department ensuring compliance with health and sanitation standards.
  • Fire Safety Certificate:-Certificate from the fire department confirming compliance with fire safety regulations.
  • Essentiality Certificate:-Essentiality certificate from the state government, confirming the need for a school in the specified locality.
  • Recognition Certificate:-Recognition certificate from the state education department after meeting specific criteria.
  • No-Objection Certificate from the Fire Department:-NOC from the local fire department, certifying that the school premises comply with fire safety regulations.
  • Environment Clearance:-Clearance from the environmental authority to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • School Curriculum Approval:-Approval for the curriculum to be followed in the school, especially if it deviates from the standard state or national curriculum.
  • Teacher Appointment Approval:-Approval for the appointment of teaching staff, often issued by the education department.

Click here to read more about steps involved in CBSE Affiliation Process

Click here to read more about steps involved in IB Affiliation Process

Step 17 - School CommencementDay - 550

A new school is officially open after conducting a comprehensive parent orientation program to address their inquiries and a school launch event. All the aforementioned efforts ultimately converge to successfully and punctually commence the new school project in line with the targeted academic session.

Note: School Licensing & Affiliation Milestones are not included in the document as the timelines differ from state to state. For more information on this , kindly contact our team.

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