Open / Start a School in India and CBSE Affiliation

Starting a CBSE SCHOOL in India

Any school which is affiliated to the state board and has the ‘No Objection Certificate from the State can apply for CBSE Affiliation. Let us go through this post and understand how can you start a CBSE School in India.

Schools in India has to function as a “NOT FOR PROFIT” in the form of Society / Trust or a Section 8 company. I have written a separate post on the formation of the Trust & Society. Click Here to read about it.

How much does it cost to build and run a school?

The minimum land requirement by CBSE is 1.5 Acres but there is a host of factors which can play a part in this requirement such as Type of City, Population, Location of the land, Type of Property etc.

S. NoLocation of SchoolLand Requirement (Minimum) (Sq Meters)
1Anywhere in India6000

Square Meters
2In municipal limits of cities with a population
(Exceeding 15 Lakhs)
4000
3In Hilly areas prescribed by the planning commissions (NITI Aayog).4000
4In Municipal limits of the State Capital Cities4000
5In the North Eastern States4000
6In the State of Jammu and Kashmir4000
7In Municipal Limits of Ghaziabad, NOIDA, Faridabad & Gurugram cities. 4000
8In the Municipal limits of  Panchkula and Mohali/SAS nagar. 4000
9In the Municipal Limits class-X cities (Ahemdabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune)or on the Hill stations.
(For Secondary Level)
2000
10(For senior Secondary Level)
In the Municipal Limits class-X cities (Ahemdabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune) or on the Hill stations.
3000
11(For Secondary Level)
In the Municipal Limits of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata,
Mumbai Or the state of Arunachal Pradesh
or the State of Sikkim or the Islands
1600
12(For Senior Secondary Level)
In the Municipal Limits of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai Or the state of Arunachal Pradesh or the State of Sikkim or the Islands
2400
13Union Territories4000

Location is Urban or Rural, the area will be determined by the above. For more information, you can read this post here. Click Here 

Cost of building a School

A school normally requires construction in phases (Here I am talking about a Budget CBSE School meant for a 1000 students)

  • Phase 1: 20,000  sq ft to 25,000  sq ft construction – Year 1
  • Phase 2: 12,000  sqft- 15,000 sq ft – year 3
  • Phase 3: 6,000  sqft – 10,000 sq ft – Year 4

You multiply these numbers with Rs 1000 – 1,400 per sq feet and this will give you a ballpark costing of construction plus furniture. Over and above this you can spend on Marketing, Landscaping, Sports Facilities etc. That is completely dependent on the promoter’s vision.

Affiliation

A School has to have an affiliation from the State Board. It doesn’t matter if it is eventually affiliated to CBSE / ICSE or IB Board. Education is a state subject, hence the can have any affiliation but State BoardAffiliation / Permission is mandatory.

Franchise

Starting any Brand Franchise: There are a lot of franchise (Brands) to choose from like Brighton International School, DPS, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Everonn, Manipal, Shamrock, Mayo College, Kangaroo Kids etc.

All these have a proper corporate office where there are teams involved with the expansion of the chain. Their website is the way one can get in touch with them. Typically they charge a Security Deposit (to be fixed for a stipulated period) a Licence Fee (chargeable every year) and a Revenue share per student. None of this is fixed and may depend from organization to organization. They will help you in setting an elementary process and curriculum right.

Starting the School (Essential Steps)

Form a Trust/Society/ Section 8 Company

As per the government’s norms, the administrative power of the school should be vested in a Not-for-profit society or trust. Every state has an office of Registrar where a society can be registered. This is the address of the few of the offices across different states; for more, you can read here 

Chhattisgarh – http://coop.cg.gov.in/Phone_contact.htm

Madhya Pradesh – http://www.mp.gov.in/registrarfirms/

Similarly one can start a school by forming a Section 8 company. For more on this, you can read my post here 

Register/ Lease the Plot of Land

The Land on which the school will be built has to be either leased out or should be in the name of the society or the trust. The documents should be certified by the local land registration office. For a CBSE school inside the city limits the minimum area should be One Acre and outside the city limits should be 1.5 Acres. 

Kindly remember the Land should all be at One Place and in One Piece with Pucca Boundary Wall on all the sides

I get the maximum amount of queries regarding the size of the land, especially from Metros. CBSE has recently amended the bye-laws regarding the requirement of land. Kindly go through the circular. It specifically states the land required for starting a school in Metros should be greater than 1600 Sq Meter (about 0.4 acres) for Pre Primary to Class X, and about an acre for Classes up to Class XII. For the rest of India, the rule has stayed the same as described above. I have written a separate post on this topic, here is the link. If the land is leased out to the ‘Not For Profit’ entity the minimum duration should be 15 Years.

GET THE STATE BOARD AFFILIATION (Get an approval from the local Education Office ) – Once the building and the staff is ready, open admissions. Simultaneously go to the local education office in most cases DEO (District Education Office) and register by paying the fee. Post inspection of the school premises and after taking the relevant information they will provide the society/trust with required certification. The school will first take-off after the permission from the state board. This is essential, there has been a ruling by the court on this aspect.

The above mentioned steps simplistically captures, how you start school in India, now moving to ‘How to get CBSE Affiliation of your school’?

HOW TO GET CBSE AFFILIATION

This entire process of affiliation is a very transparent process and in case one is ready to do the paperwork, you really don’t require any touts or middleman. CBSE provides the school with a list of bye-laws to be kept in mind while applying for CBSE Affiliation. The entire manual can be downloaded from the CBSE’s official website. Here is the website – CBSE e-Affiliation Website and the link to download the  Bye-Laws – Affiliation Bye-Laws

Step No. 1: Get a No Objection Certificate from the State Government

For a brief period of time this certificate was revoked by the CBSE but in December 2016, it has again made the entry. I have detailed it in a separate post here. Click Here.

    • The most difficult part in getting an affiliation is NOC, the CBSE waived this rule in the interim but now it is back. The new circular is out (Dec 2016). I have written a separate post on it, click on the link here
    • The School basically have to write an application to the State Education Secretary Office (located in the state’s capital) and ask for NOC so that the state allows if under their jurisdiction a school start following central board. This can be a simple application where a copy of the application goes to local DEO office.

Step No. 2: Get the District Collector & DEO office to sign on Appendix II

Fill the Appendix II from the Bye Laws (Page 47 – 50). I am attaching a PDF of Appendix II of CBSE Affiliation for your reference, click here 

Go first to the District Education Officer with the following documents;

  1. State Board Recognition Certificate
  2. State No-Objection Certificate
  3. The U-DISE Code of the School (if there is letter or email available stating the UDISE code)
  4. Society / Trust / Section 8 Company documents
    • Certificate of Registration
    • Bye Laws
    • PAN Card
    • Bank Passbook / Statement
    • Audited Balance Sheet of 3 Years
  5. Photographs of School Campus
    • Boundary Wall
    • Library
    • Labs
    • Classrooms
    • Other facilities
  6. Land Documents (Photocopy & Originals of Original Deed paper or Lease Deed)
    • If documents are mortgaged with the bank, take a true copy from the bank manager
    • A satellite colour print-out from the Google Map showing land is one plot
    • If the state govt provides the facility of  E-Maps – a print out of the plot
  7. Original copy of the certificate (get this before hand)
    • Certificate from PWD stating the building is in safe and secure condition
    • Certificate from the Fire Department declaring school is safe from fire point of view
    • Certificate from the Health Department declaring school water and facilities are hygienic (get water tested)
  8. Employee Records
    • Offer Letter / Joining Letter given to staff when the start service at the school
    • Salary Details of all the staff along with various heads like Provident Fund (compulsory), ESIC (compulsory), Basic Pay & Grade Pay and other heads
    • Bank Statement of 3 months stating the debit of Salaries from the School’s Bank Account
      • Letter to the manager signed by school authorities if paid through single cheque routine
    • Police Verification Report – All School Staff including Class IV Staff. & Safety Audit Report from the local Police Department.

I am hoping after having a look at all these details, DEO will sign the Appendix II.

Step No 3: Fill the Non – Proprietary in the form of Affidavit and duly notarised

Affidavit of Non-Proprietary Character of Society. – The format for this affidavit is prescribed by the CBSE, Download the format for Non – Proprietary . This usually is getting made on 100 Rs Stamp Paper. Here is a sample for your perusal.

Step No 4: Register for Affiliation on the CBSE’s website

Register your school Online – CBSE Official Website

Earlier you have to make a demand draft as Affiliation Fee which was supposed to be sent to the board with all the above documents, now it can be done at the HDFC Bank. School is required to remit prescribed fee through a system generated e-challan at any branches of HDFCBank or through NEFT /RTGSthrough branches of any nationalized /scheduled Banks. The Affiliation Fee keeps on changing from year to year.  Here is where you can access the details on the current fee – Affiliation Fee. After taking the printout of confirmation page of the online application form, the same duly signed by the Principal and Manager of the school along with enclosures and CBSE copy of fee payment challan shall be sent to the Board.

You also have to furnish some basic information with regards to your school to CBSE. This happens in the form of an ONLINE FORM. Here is a sample of the of the FORM.

Approval of middle-class syllabus: (Up to Class VIII)
Independent schools within the country Rs.50,000/-
Overseas Independent Schools Rs.2,00,000/-
Fresh Provisional Affiliation for Secondary Classes (Up to Class X)
Independent schools within the country Rs.150,000/-

Rs.1,00,000/- (If already affiliated up to Middle Class)

Overseas Independent Schools Rs.2,50,000/-

Rs.1,50,000/- (If already affiliated up to Middle Class)

Step 5 – Track/Follow the application online & Wait for the Letter from the CBSE

Keep checking your application progress online, CBSE gives you the facility for the same. You can call and check, most of the time nobody picks up so try getting most of the update online.

CBSE will send a letter mentioning the officials who have been deputed to come and inspect the school. Without wasting any time, get in touch with them and arrange for them to come. Mostly one of them would be a Central School (Kendriya Vidyalay) Principal and the other one an experienced hand from any aided or un-aided school.

STEP 6 – Prepare a file

Following is the list of documents one should have for CBSE affiliation File –

Details of Annexure

  1. Society Details
  2. Constitution of the Society & Society Bye-Laws
  3. Registration Certificate of the society
  4. Affidavit of Non-Proprietary Character & relationship among members (Proforma
  5. School Management Committee List (To know more about this read my post)
  6. Statement of Income & Expenditure Audited Account –
  7. Balance Sheet of last two to three years
  8. Bank Certificate – Mentioning this – in case you have to take some project loan from a certain bank.
  9. Staff Particulars
  10. Service Agreement with Employees
  11. Principal Particulars – Professional Resume
  12. Staff Salary Statement – Salary should be paid through Electronic Clearing Service (ECS)
  13. Letter to the bank regarding Staff Salary remittance
  14. Copy of the A/C payee cheque meant for staff salary
  15. Reserve Fund (This is a draft which one has to make as laid down in the bye-laws)
  16. Infrastructure Details
  17. Land Records Certificate of Land (Appendix VI) ( Proforma)
  18. Supporting Documents by Tehsildar & Patwari – This in case the school is out of Municipality bounds
  19. Approved Map and Building Layout – from the relevant Town and Country Planning Authority.
  20. School Building Room Particulars School Building – List of all the rooms along with the size and details.
  21. School Building and Facilities Photographs
  22. Physical Health Education & Recreation Facility Details
  23. Laboratory Details
  24. Library Facilities & Details
  25. Librarian Details – CV / Resume of the Librarian
  26. State Govt Related Documents
  27. State Board Affiliation Certificate & NOC from the state (Intimation will do, for more info read here)
  28. Student Details
  29. Student’s Details Record of Internal Assessment (Class Wise)
  30. Fees Structure (Kindly refer to this circular from CBSE while finalizing the FEE structure )
  31. School Time Table
  32. School Prospectus
  33. Certificate of Fire Safety & Sanitary Conditions
  34. Provision of Medical Check Up
  35. Undertaking by Manager regarding the admissions only up till Class VIII – This basically says the school is not admitting students in classes for which they do not have permission.
  36. Details of Training Modules conducted for teachers
  37. Building Safety Certificate
  38. Drinking Water Test Certificate
  39. Transport Fitness Certificate
  40. School Conveyance facility Details – If School is providing conveyance to students
  41. Optional – This is in case you want to make a stronger case
    1. CBSE Online Submitted Application
    2. Copy of the submitted bank draft
    3. Letter of inspection from CBSE
    4. Financial Projections
    5. Land Documents – Photocopy
    6. Admission Announcements
  42. Annexure II

Step 5 – Get ready for Inspection

Earlier – Inspection – Inspectors/Officials will have a form with them where they will jot down all the information about your school. (Be very specific about Salary structures and its distribution, Land Records – these two things get special attention. Once they are done they are responsible for sending your file to the board.

The inspecting team will be responsible for uploading the relevant documents online, hence you are advised to scan the entire file page by page separately and keep it handy in a USB flash drive. Now a days, the inspectors have access to a CBSE website, where they fill the data realtime at the campus itself.

Step 6 – Keep Checking your Status online

Once they leave keep checking with them, whether they have sent the file or not. Once the file is submitted, online status would reflect the same. In about 45 ~ 60 days of submission of the file and favorable reviews from the officials the school will get CBSE affiliation.  

I keep getting a lot of queries on this particular post. Here are some answers I am posting for everyone’s benefit; I also have a consultancy arm which helps entrepreneurs and schools start up to establish and run schools of high quality. You can send me a mail by filling the form below

Hi, if you are looking for a Consultant to help you start a School or with any issue like Affiliations, Project Finance, School Management, Project Feasibility Studies, Project Report, Contact Abhiney Singh by filling the form below or calling or through WhatsApp on +91 70002 40006

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FAQsExplanations
Do I have to procure affiliation and then start the school?NO You can only apply for affiliation once you have started the institute. The affiliation asks for a lot of information regarding the students' strength teachers etc which can only be filled once you start the school.
My society comprises of members of my family, what do I do to make it of "Non Proprietary" nature? Off all the members in a society majority i.e more than 50% cannot be related by blood. Also while declaring the members of the society in the affidavit the Chairman will have to declare the relationship among the members who all are related by blood line.
I am running a school in a rented building. Can I apply for affiliation? The law clearly states that the school should have Proof regarding possession of 2 acres of land (pg 60 of bye laws). Hence the school can run in a rented building but the land on which the building is built should be owned or leased to the society. Society can lease the land to a company which can then construct the building and can charge the society a rent on its investments.
Do I have to take State Board Affiliation to start a School, Can I directly apply to CBSEYes you have to procure State Board Affiliation post that only you can go for CBSE Affiliation.
Is this the entire list of documents? I believe this is the list in case they need more information you can always ask for more time.
Salary drawn by Teachers at my institute is not at par with State Norms or Central Government NormsDon't worry about it. Salary is a subjective topic and can vary from city to city within the same state. It all depends upon the cost of living in that particular area. Don't worry about low salaries. You just have to be fair in showing that what you have specified in the offer letter is what is going in the bank account and the same is getting signed by the employee.
Land original documents are with the Bank as collateral Get a photocopy attested by the bank that this is a true copy of the documents pledged with them. Get the bank manager sign on the photocopy.
Approximately what is the time between submission and inspection and how much time is spent by the inspection Team on the campusIt takes about 3-4 months from submission to inspection and the team spends about 5 to 6 hours (Arrange for them to have meals either in the school or a place nearby).
What is the investment required to open a schoolThis query invites a subjective response but a thumb rule for starters / planners. 2 Acres of land at the market price plus cost of construction at about 1200 Rs a square feet.
Non-Proprietary Affidavit. What do I do when some members are related to each other?This is a very general trend across societies though advisable is very few members should be related to each other (blood relatives). Even if people are related to each other the Chairman/Head of the trust society should declare the same while submitting the Non-Proprietary affidavit that 'x' person is related to 'y' person through by 'z' relationship.
Do I know somebody who can take BRIBE in CBSE or outside and get you an affiliationThe Answer is "HELL NO".
I need your help. I am looking for a consultant who could help me start a school or to get a CBSE AffiliationYes I am available for paid consultation. You can write to me on abhiney@brightoninternational.in

Abhiney Singh