Starting an Academic Private School in Singapore

Staff Writer

January 18, 2022

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How to Open an Academic Private School

The education industry is among the most quickly growing sectors in Singapore that play an essential role in attracting and untiring talents to meet economic developments. In 2002, the Economic Development Board implemented the Global Schoolhouse initiative with the aim of transforming the country into a renowned education center in the world. These days, there are more than 1200 education organisations which provide a variety of high-quality services to local people. In this guide, we will show you a comprehensive guide with necessary steps on how to start an academic private school in Singapore.

1. Make a plan

Before you start setting up an academic private school in Singapore, it is important to review and understand all of the regulatory requirements from the authorities to avoid any legal issues later. Here are a few things that you need to think about when making your plan to ensure the business can be profitable and financially viable:

  • Do research on the market and figure out the targeted student base
  • Identify possible locations for the school
  • Understand staffing requirements in Singapore and average salaries in the market
  • Possible risks and key factors to succeed
  • Comprehensive financial projections with worst and best case scenarios

2. Incorporate the business

The next step is to incorporate your business by registering with the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. There are many forms of business entities to choose, but the most common options are private limited, partnership, and sole proprietorship. Depending on the scale of the school and your plan, each form will have its own pros and cons. Thus, make sure to consider carefully before deciding.

3. Prepare for the operation

Once your company has been established, now starts the real work. While there are many important tasks to complete before you could enroll students, you should focus on the following things:

Choose the right premise

Keep in mind that you could only use a premise once it is approved by the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority for educational activities. To avoid any issues later, it is better to check with the landowner in advance to ensure that the facility that you are going to lease could be used for these purposes. Once you have signed the lease, you also need to acquire a constructing work permit before hiring a professional contractor to renovate the facility as you want. Other licenses you need to obtain include the Temporary Occupation License, the Statutory Completion Certificate, the Certificate of Fire Safety, and the License of Advertisement for putting business signage.

Hire administrative and teaching staff

It is important to ensure that all of your teaching staff much have the required qualifications to teach the relevant courses. In your marketing documents, you need to clearly state these specific qualifications. If you want to engage your educational plans to with government-subsidized training, then you need to be in compliance with the additional regulations imposed by the authorities. For foreign employees, make sure they have valid visas or working permits before you decide to hire them.

4. Obtain the right accreditation

While it is not compulsory to obtain accreditation, doing this can create confidence and trust with your potential clients. Basically there are two certifications that you should acquire in Singapore:

  • The Singapore Quality Class certification: This accreditation doesn’t only help create a positive perception in parents about your school, but it can also help speed up the process of getting student visas.
  • EduTrust certification: This form should be acquired before you enroll international students. In addition, private schools could have financial assistance and support from the organisation. In general, it offers a grant op to S$26,000 to eligible institutions which want to upgrade their capabilities.

5. Acquire necessary licenses

For all academic private schools that offer services to more than 10 students, it requires the registration and licenses from the Singapore Ministry of Education and Council for Private Education before operating. In addition, depending on your curriculum and specific purposes, you should also apply for some other licenses to have the right to conduct the following activities:

  • Canteen, coffee shop, food stall, and food court license
  • Place TV sets in the premises
  • Publish a school or educational magazine
  • Import educational materials
  • Advertise the establishment
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