Operation of a Private Institute / Private Educational Centre
In order to establish and operate a Private Institute / Private Educational Centre in the Republic of Cyprus (Primary Education, General Secondary Education, Technical Secondary Education, Professional Education), an approval must be obtained by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth.
Choosing a name for a Private Institute / Private Educational Centre and registering it at the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver
- The Private Institute / Private Educational Centre should be registered as a Business Name or a Company at the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver. A certified copy of the Registration or Incorporation Certificate must accompany the application;
- The registered name should not be misleading in terms of displaying it or representing it, in any way, as a school or that it provides/awards qualifications;
- The registered name must adequately distinguish itself from the names of other Private Institutes / Private Educational Centres;
- The registered name cannot include terms like “Academy” “Academic” “National” “Pancyprian” “School” “European” “International” “Model” or “College”;
- The term “Private Institute” or “Private Educational Centre” must be included in the name or precede the name given and must be written on the official stamp, signs, advertisements, certificates of attendance and in general on all the documents published by the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre.
Who is Eligible
Permission to establish and operate a Private Institute / Private Educational Centre in the Republic Cyprus can be given to natural or legal persons of Cypriot nationality or citizens of other member states of the EU.
Where to Apply
The application form ‘Ι.Φ.1’ for the establishment and operation of a Private Institute / Private Educational Centre along with the ‘ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ Α’ for the staff of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre (see Applications & Documents) can be submitted either to the PSC Cyprus or directly to the Competent Authority:
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth
Department of Secondary Education
Private Institutes Office
Kimonos and Thoukydides Corner
Tel.: +357 22806356 (Private Secondary Education)
Fax : +357 22809537 (Private Secondary Education)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Private Secondary Education)
Which Certificates must be Submitted
Finding a suitable building must be a primary goal:
- It is necessary to obtain a planning permit from the Headquarters of the Department of Town Planning and Housing as provided by the Town Planning and Spatial Planning Law;
- It is also necessary to submit a building permit and a final approval certificate (or the application for obtaining a final approval certificate, applicable in the case of erection of a new building) stating that the building will be used as a Private Institute / Private Educational Centre from the local Municipality / District Administration Office, as provided by the Regulating Streets and Buildings Law, Cap. 96;
- A Fire Safety Certificate from the Cyprus Fire Service is also compulsory;
- The premises should be suitably furnished and properly equipped including the appropriate teaching aids for the proper functioning of a Private Institute / Private Educational Centre.
Teaching Staff of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre
It is compulsory to hire a qualified headmaster/headmistress as well as teachers. Every member of the teaching staff should hold a recognized University degree/ on the specific subject they will be appointed to teach. Every member of the faculty of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre must complete a personal record form (form Ι.Φ.2).
The form Ι.Φ.2 must be accompanied by the following documents:
- certified copy of Birth Certificate;
- certified copy of a Secondary School Leaving Certificate or equivalent;
- certified copy of University Degree and or Post-Graduate Degree and their Transcript/s;
- certified copy of a Certificate of fulfillment of military obligations /or legal exemption from them (for men);
- original or certified copy of a Clear Criminal Record Certificate (by the Cyprus Police);
- original or certified copy of a Certificate issued by the Cyprus Police in accordance with the Prevention and Fight against Sexual Abuse, Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography Act.
If a teacher’s name is included in the list of appointees of the Educational Service Committee, he/she must only provide officially certified photocopies of the following:
- Birth Certificate;
- Clear Criminal Record Certificate (by the Cyprus Police);
- Certificate issued by the Cyprus Police in accordance with the Prevention and Fight against Sexual Abuse, Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography Act.
Fees Applicable & How to Pay
There are no fees for submission of applications or for the issuance of the Operation License to be issued.
Private Institute / Private Educational Centre Inspection
When the application Ι.Φ.1 is submitted, with all the required certificates, an inspection of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre will follow by the officers of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth.
Advisory Committee of Private Education
If the application meets all requirements and terms with reference to the law, the Advisory Committee of Private Education will examine the application and will suggest to Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth for the approval or non-approval of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre.
When the establishment and operation of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre is approved, then it will be officially registered in the Registers of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth and the certificate of establishment and operation will be sent to the owner.
Also, the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre, will be added in the online catalogues of approved Private Institutes / Private Educational Centres, which are posted on the Ministry’s website; on this link.
The applicant is informed regarding the authorization decision within ten months from the date that the application form and supporting documents were duly submitted.
Licence Validity Period
The license is valid for an unlimited period of time.
However, It is noted that in case the provisions of the legislation and/or the obligations relating to the normal and uninterrupted operation of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre are violated, its license may be revoked or cancelled at any time.
Dispute with the Competent Authority's Decision
How to File an Administrative Action
Administrative Action Against a Competent Authority’s Decision
Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative court against a decision, act or omission of any competent authority or body.
Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.
The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action
After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.
How to Appeal
An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such decision was given.
At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated for. However, such revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.
The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.
Legislation & Obligations
Which Laws and Regulations Apply
What are my Obligations
Private Institute / Private Educational Centre are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Private Institutes Law and Regulations, as periodically amended or replaced, and specifically, among others, with the following:
The curriculum programmes of the new courses and/or any changes to the existing courses approved curriculum programmes including the following must be submitted for approval and must include the following:
- Aims and Objectives (in relation to the age-group of students which is addressed to);
- Content / Syllabus of the studies programme;
- Duration – Teaching Periods per unit on a weekly basis;
- Ways of Assessment (i.e. final examination, projects).
In case the curriculum programme of the course(s) to be taught at the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre is the same as the one taught in public schools, it is sufficient for the applicant to submit a written signed declaration stating that is bound to implement the curriculum programme of the course in question as defined by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth.
Foreign languages curriculum programme criteria:
- General aim and objectives of the curriculum based on the age of the students;
- Content / Syllabus of the studies programme (according to the level and skill scales of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) of the Council of Europe);
- Duration – Teaching periods per year/per week and by unit;
- Targeted skills/abilities (language and communicative skills according to the level and skill scales of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) of the Council of Europe;
- teaching approach and activities.
- Ways of Assessment (i.e. final examination, projects).
The timetable per course and/or per class must be submitted.
The owner must submit, for approval, to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, the amounts payable for tuition fees, fees and other rights of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre.
Keeping the following records
Samples of the following files must be submitted for approval:
- List of students;
- Certificates or Certificates of Attendance / Participation;
- Register of Teaching Staff;
- Teaching Staff salary statement;
- Numbered duplicate of receipts of tuition fees, fees and/or other rights bearing the name of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre (as regards the register and salary statement of the teaching staff, there is no need to be sent if the owner is both a director and the only teaching staff).
Keeping duplicated numbered receipts
Such receipts should be printed at a printing press and must bear the name of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre, as it is compulsory to give out a receipt for each collection of fees or other rights.
Photos of Private Institute / Private Educational Centre
Upon submission of the Application Ι.Φ.1, the following photos should be submitted:
- Teaching Rooms;
- Workshops (if any);
- Reception area;
- Lavatories (with insignia for girls-boys);
- External sign.
Operational information of the Private Institute
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth shall be notified of any changes relating to the operation of the Private Institute / Private Educational Centre.