Singapore’s strategic location and globalised economy has attracted both foreign talents and students to work or study in Singapore. Furthermore, many businesses are increasing demand for professional trainings and sending staff to boost their technical skills for work. Given the enticing and lucrative business potential in the Private Education Industry in Singapore, it comes as no surprise that more private education institutions are attempting to set up private schools in Singapore.
So, how do you start a private school in Singapore?
- Know the different types of Private Education Institutes
Before you begin the process of opening a private school, make sure you have done your market analysis and are clear of all the regulatory requirements needed for the type of school you want to start.
For example, to operate a childcare centre, you’d need to register under Early Childhood Development Agency (link: https://www.ecda.gov.sg/) while Private Schools who offers diploma or degree courses are governed under Committee for Private Education (https://www.tpgateway.gov.sg/)
Understanding of the Private Education Industry’s current and projected trends is critical to ensure sustainability of the school as each type of schools will have their pros and cons. For more details, see guide on developing sustainability strategies (https://www.eduvalueglobal.com/strategy-sustainability)
- Setting up a business in Singapore
Once you’ve decided to set up a private school, you must first register your business with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) (https://www.gobusiness.gov.sg/). The type of business entity will depend on your business model and scale of the school.
- Acquire the necessary Accreditation and Licenses
When you are starting a private school in Singapore there are certain licences and accreditations required as mentioned earlier. For example, business registration with ACRA and Registration of the private school with CPE is necessary to open a private school in Singapore.
There are also certain accreditations that are recommended to build trust and confidence with potential students. They are namely:
ERF or Enhanced Registration Framework is the basic license that you will need to even start a Private Education Institution (PEI) or a Private School in Singapore. There are many requirements and to navigate it (especially for first timers) might take a lot of resources and time. For assistance on how to navigate it, you can find it here at this link. https://eduvalue.com.sg/peis-consulting/
- EduTrust Certification
EduTrust certification is a Quality Assurance (QA) assessment for 4-Year Enhanced Registration Framework (ERF) Private Education Institutions (PEIs) that is regulated by CPE. EduTrust must be obtained before schools can run degree or pathway programmes. With this certification, Private Schools in Singapore also indicates that the school has consistently maintained a high standard of quality in the overall provision of education services and make continual improvements that lead to positive student outcomes. For more info, here’s a guide on EduTrust Certification (https://eduvalue.com.sg/faq-all-about-edutrust)
- ERF Certification
- Prepare for School Operations
At this stage, you will need to start preparing for the business to run. Having the necessary staff hired, finding the right premise, establishing policies and systems and applying for necessary licenses for operations.
Since the pandemic, it has become more evident on the importance of integrating digitalisation in schools such as use of Google Classrooms, Learning Management Systems and other technological support to help manage school workflows for students and staff efficiently. Here’s a guide on how to manage Digital Transformations (https://eduvalue.com.sg/peis-maintaining-edutrust-qa/)
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