Starting an Academic Private School in Singapore

Staff Writer

January 18, 2022

What’s in the article?

Private education institutions (Singapore) are managed by The Committee for Private Education (CPE). They set rules and regulations that all businesses must follow under the Private Education Act. Incorporating your own private school will entail you to follow these guidelines, which we’ll cover in this article.

Opening Private Education Institutions in Singapore

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 centre in the world.

Today, there are more than 1200 education organisations which provide a variety of high-quality services to local people. Private education institutions can offer specialised courses for students, such as the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), which specialises in business management and marketing. Other private education institutions may operate as preschools or high schools.

However, private schools cannot open and operate without proper accreditation as a place of education. Whether it is a pre-school, high school, or university, private education institutions need to comply with certain regulations.

In this guide, we will show you a comprehensive guide with necessary steps on how to start an academic private school in Singapore. From incorporation to obtaining Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF) accreditation, our guide will course you through the process.

How to Open Private Education Institutions

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;
  • Comply with statutory requirements in incorporating a business;
  • 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;
  • Determine the types of courses offered;
  • Create a financial support plan;
  • Determine course fees and tuition fees.

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.

To incorporate your business, log in to the BizFile+ website, and fill in the application form that corresponds to private education institutions. Submit the form along with supporting documents, and other requirements listed in the site. Pay the incorporation fees, and wait for approvals. Once approved, you can move on to operations.

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 enrol 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 construction work permit before hiring a professional contractor to renovate the facility as you want. Other licences 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 must 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 with government-subsidised 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: The EduTrust Certification should be acquired before you enrol international students. In addition, private schools could have financial assistance and support from the organisation. In general, it offers a grant up 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

Maintain Compliance with WealthBridge

The final and ongoing step is to ensure compliance with your business. Permits have to be renewed at the end of the validity period, and it will be easier for private education institutions to continue offering courses when the business complies with the regulations set within the country.

Maintain compliance, and ease the paperwork with WealthBridge. Our team can handle all the paperwork that needs to be done, so you can keep providing quality education to your students!

Send us an email to know more about how we can help with your private education institution.

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