Establishment and Operation of a Private School (Primary, Secondary, Upper Secondary)
For the establishment and operation of a Private School (Pre-Primary, Primary or Secondary) in the Republic of Cyprus, an approval by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports & Youth must be obtained.
Types of Private Schools
- Schools of the same type: Private Schools of the same type are those schools which strictly follow the existing curriculum of Public Schools;
- Schools of similar type: Private Schools of a similar type are those schools in which 2/3 of the major and common core subjects follow those in the Public Schools as to content duration and study programmes;
- Schools of a different type: Private Schools of a different type are those schools which do not belong to any of the above mentioned categories.
Name of the Private School
- The registered name should not be misleading in terms of the level and the type of the private school and the available study programmes;
- The registered name must distinguish itself from the names of other private or public schools;
- The registered name cannot include terms like “Academy”, “Academic”, “National”, “Pancyprian”, ‘European’, ‘International’, ‘Model’, ‘College’ or similar;
- The term “Private School” must precede the registered name to be given to the school and must also be on the seal, the signs, the advertisements, the certificates and, in general, on all the documents issued by the private school.
Who is Eligible
Permission to operate a Private School in Cyprus can be granted to both natural and legal persons who reside in Cyprus or citizens of another Member State. An approval from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth needs to be obtained, if the person is a non-citizen of the Cyprus Republic or another Member State.
A private school cannot be established:
(a) By a civil servant or official of a legal person governed by public law or an official of the Republic or another Member State, in active employment;
(b) By a secondary school teacher, primary school teacher or other public school teacher, in active employment;
(c) By a person convicted of a serious offence involving a lack of honesty or moral obscenity;
(d) By an educational or civil servant of the Republic or another Member State who has been dismissed or whose services have been terminated in the past, by the public service or any service of the Republic or another Member State or legal person governed by public law of republic or a Member State or body of the European Union, due to serious disciplinary misconduct;
(e) By a person employed by another Government or body;
(f) Where, on the basis of the documents submitted and in accordance with the opinion of the Advisory Committee, it appears that the establishment of the school is not intended to serve educational needs within the Republic;
(g) A general or limited partnership whose partner is a civil servant or a public school teacher;
(h) By a limited liability company or any legal person established under the laws of the Republic of which a shareholder or consultant or partner is a civil servant or a public school teacher.
Where to Apply
The forms can be submitted either through the PSC Cyprus or by contacting directly the competent authority:
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth
Private Education Office
Kimonos and Thoukydides Corner
Tel.: +357 22809512 (Secondary Education)
+ 357 22800804 (Primary Education)
Fax : +357 22809537 (Secondary Education),
+357 22428277 (Primary Education)
Email: [email protected] (Secondary Education),
[email protected] (Primary Education)
Which Certificates must be Submitted
At least one year before the establishment of the private school, the applicant must submit the application forms ΙΕΔΜ 2, ΙΕΔΜ 3 & ΙΕΔΜ 4 for the establishment and operation of a private school. The application forms along with other relevant documents can also be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth.
In case of a summer school, the application for operation must be submitted three months before the start of its operation. In the event that an already approved Private School wishes to extend its function as a summer school, without variations in the programme of teaching subjects/curriculum and teaching staff, it is not obliged to obtain approval.
The IEΔM 2 application form for the establishment of a Private School must be accompanied by the following documents:
- A certified copy of the “Certificate of Registration” of the Business Name or Partnership or a certified copy of the “Certificate of Incorporation” of the Company from the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver;
- A copy of the certificate of the Registered Office;
- A copy of the certificate of the Shareholders (in case of a company);
- A copy of the certificate of the Directors and Secretary (in case of a company);
- Original Clear Criminal Record Certificate for physical (e.g. for the owner of the Business Name) or a legal (e.g. company) person by the Cyprus Police;
- The curriculum of the courses to be taught, including the following: purpose, objectives, course objectives, content/material, weekly teaching periods, teaching methodology, evaluation;
- The curriculum of the school including the philosophy, basic purpose, mission, basic pursuit and general objectives pursued by its establishment and operation.
The IEΔM 3 application form for the Personal Information of the Teaching Staff 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 Transcript;
- Certified copy of a Certificate of the 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;
- Certified copy of the certificate of Equivalence and Correspondence of the teacher’s Title of Studies from The Cyprus Council of Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (KY.S.A.T.S.) or a certificate of entry in the list of appointees of the Educational Service Committee;
- Certificate of the previous service (only for the Headmaster/Headmistress).
The IEΔM 4 application form for the Operation of a Private School must be accompanied by the following documents:
- A certified copy of the building permit by the Municipal Authority/District Administration Office and application for final approval (applicable in the case of the erection of a new building);
- A certified copy of the planning permission from the Department of Town Planning and Housing for the specific use (e.g. establishment for a private kindergarten/primary/high school/technical school (applicable in the case of an existing building);
- Fire safety certificate from the Cyprus Fire Service;
- Certificate of Suitability from the Public Health Service;
- Certificate of Suitability of the electrical installation from the Department of Electrical and Mechanical Services.
The premises should be properly furnished and equipped with the necessary equipment for the proper operation of a Private School, including teaching means.
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 Schools Advisory Committee
Given that the applications and the supportive documents have been duly submitted, the Private Schools Advisory Committee will examine the application and recommend to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth the approval or non-approval of the Private School. Only when approval for the establishment and operation of a Private School is granted, the school will be officially registered in the registries of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the owner will receive the Establishment and Operation certificates. The Committee advises the Ministry on any issue concerning the operation of private schools.
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 School are violated, its license may be revoked or cancelled at any time. For more information please see ‘Revocation or cancellation of the Private School Operation License’ in ‘Obligations and Supervision’.
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 a 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. However, such a 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
A private school, irrespective of the type, must, in compliance with the provisions of the Law and the Regulations adopted under the Law, to have approved operating regulations, which are consistent with the structure, content and general philosophy of the corresponding regulations of public schools.
Study Programmes Guide
Every year, and prior to student registrations, the owner of a private school is obliged to issue a study programmes guide with the following information:
For private primary and secondary schools:
(i) The type of school, the grade and the study programmes/curricula offered, depending on the cycle of studies of primary, secondary (gymnasium or lyceum) and technical school;
(ii) The conditions of admission, the conditions of graduation, the objectives, the duration of study, the lessons taught, the content of each course, the teaching periods per week, the supporting teaching provided, the special education and training, the duration of the teaching period, the main language of instruction and the certificate of study, the progress report, the indicative and school leaving certificate awarded after successful completion of the studies and, in general, any other details to provide sufficient information on each curriculum offered;
(iii) Detailed information on scholarships containing, inter alia, the number, scholarship amount, duration and selection criteria of scholarships;
(iv) The calendar of each school year;
(v) The preliminary list with the name and academic or other qualifications of the Headmaster and key staff and faculty members, the specialization or specialties and the course or courses each of them teaches;
(vi) The amount of tuition fees, registration rights and any other financial burdens of the student per year until he/she completes the six or seven grade school, accordingly, the ways of payment for tuition fees and the school’s return policy of tuition fees in case of termination of attendance;
(vii) The name, head office of the school and the, by law, responsible person for the school;
(viii) Data on school premises and equipment, as well as information on the areas and facilities of the school, including the offices of administrative staff and faculty, the classrooms, the workshops, sports, hygiene and entertainment areas as well as the first-aid service area by a qualified, active instructor of an approved first-aid provider;
(ix) Data on the school library, its staff, its organisation and operation, its technical equipment, its contents and other similar information;
(x) The rights and obligations of pupils;
(xi) Data on the submission and date of adoption of the study guide;
(xii) a detailed explanation of the benefits that the school will provide in relation to special education and education and in particular the conditions of admission in accordance with the provisions of the Education and Training of Children with Special Needs Law and the Education and Training of Children with Special Needs Regulations and any other information specified by the Minister by a notification published in the Official Journal of the Republic.
Titles of Studies, Indicative Reports and School Leaving Certificates
Each private school is obliged to issue certificates of attendance, progress sheets, indicative and baccalaureate, the type of which must be approved by the Minister and the content of which must comply with the competent authority’s instructions on personal data matters:
- The content of the above certificates cannot be misleading in terms of the level, type of private school and the content of the studies provided by the private school;
- The courses attended by each private school student and their performance must be shown on the certificate of attendance, progress form, indicative or baccalaureate issued therein until the day of the student’s attendance;
- Private schools are obliged to safeguard the rights of pupils in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and to issue certificates of attendance, progress sheets, indicative and baccalaureate;
- The Ministry grants a written certificate for the student’s student’s education based on the information that private schools are required to submit to that Ministry;
- Baccalaureate awarded by approved private schools are equal and/or respectively, depending on the type of school, with public school diplomas.
Private school Inspection
The owner, principal and members of private school teaching staff are obliged to allow the competent officials of the Ministry to enter the school and classrooms at the time when the school operates, in order to inspect and verify:
(a) Compliance with the conditions of establishment and operation of the school;
(b) The employment of the necessary staff;
(c) Compliance with the specified timetable and analytical programme;
(d) The teaching work carried out;
(e) Any shortcomings and measures taken by those responsible for addressing these deficiencies, for the sake of the better functioning of the school;
(f) Compliance with the internal regulations for the operation of the school;
(g) The suitability of the premises;
(d) The compliance of the private school with the provisions of this Law and the Regulations, adopted pursuant to it.
The inspection provided for above shall be carried out at least once a year and a report shall be drawn up for this inspection by the competent official who carried out it submitted to the Minister.
Revocation or cancellation of the Private School Operation License
Revocation or cancellation of the authorization may apply if:
(i) Ceased to exist any conditions required under this Law and the Regulations adopted pursuant to this Act for its establishment and operation;
(ii) Its function is detrimental to public morals, public safety or public health;
(iii) The provisions of this Law or regulations adopted pursuant to this Law or regulations adopted pursuant to this Law are systematically violated;
(iv) Does not fulfill its obligations relating to its normal and unhindered operation, compliance with the conditions relating to the drivers of study and the internal regulations of the operation of the private school as to the students’ students’ students’ students.
Before the first registration of each student, both the owner or authorized person agrees in writing with the parents/guardians on the total amount of approved tuition fees, fees or other rights to be paid to the school until the completion of the student’s attendance, with a comprehensive and detailed financial situation. This agreement shall include any financial obligation of the parents/guardians, including the costs.
They concern the daily attendance of the student, such as the purchase of books, uniforms, participations in events, competitions, excursions etc.
The owner of each school, by the end of December of each year, sends to the competent authority the amount of tuition fees, fees and other rights charged to students for the next school Year, who are enrolled for the first time in the Private School in any class of all levels of education.
The owner or headmaster of a private school shall keep a record from his establishment, both in paper and electronic form, where possible, according to the type specified by the Minister containing the following:
(a) A register of pupils (essential and in paper form);
(b) A protocol (Inbox — Outgoing);
(c) A general – special control book;
(d) An entrance exam book;
(e) A book of Inquisitors/Promoted Persons;
(f) A certificate book;
(g) A test book;
(d) A book taught and examiner matter;
(i) A school calendar;
(i) A staff presentation;
(k) A library registration file;
(1b) A course allocation book;
(m) A book of practices of the Faculty Association;
(n) A book of disciplinary board practices.
The owner or any representative by the same person must issue an invoice and proof with a serial number on tuition fees, registration rights or any other rights.
Teaching Staff of the Private School
It is compulsory to hire a qualified headmaster/headmistress as well as teaching staffs. More specifically, the headmaster/headmistress and every member of the teaching staff should fulfil the same academic qualification criteria as those required for the headmasters/headmistresses and the teaching staff of public schools A personal record form must be completed by every member of the teaching staff of the Private School (Form Ι.Ε.Δ.Μ..3).
Operational information of the Private School
- Submitting every year the teaching staff list etc;
- Notifying the Ministry of Education and Culture for any changes taking place concerning the operation of the Private School.