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Guidelines for Establishing and Operating Private Primary Schools, Private Pre-Primary schools and Community Pre-Primary Schools

1. General information about establishing and operating private schools
A private Primary or Pre-Primary school must have the approval of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Private Education Advisory Committee in order to be able to legally operate. The Private Education Advisory Committee consists of (a) a Director of Education, who chairs the committee; (b) the current representatives of religious groups in the House of Representatives; and (c) six persons directly appointed by the Council of Ministers for a term of two years. The Committee meets at regular intervals at the Ministry of Education and Culture and examines the applications submitted for the establishing and/or operating of private schools in relation to whether they meet all the conditions of the relevant legislation. The recommendations of the Committee are forwarded to the Director General and then to the Minister for approval.

Private schools function according to the relevant legislation (1971-2012).

2. Private schools under the supervision of the Directorate of Primary Education
  • Private Pre-Primary Schools: The list of all the Private Pre-Primary Schools in Cyprus, including their contact information, is available in electronic form on the Ministry’s website and is regularly updated. In many cases, private Pre-Primary schools are housed in the same building as Day Care Centres for infants and toddlers. For example, there might be five classes operating in the same building, only two of which are pre-primary classes approved by the Ministry of Education (and under the supervision of the Ministry). The other three can be approved as Day Care Centres (under the supervision of the Welfare Office - Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance).
  • Private Primary Schools: The list of all the private primary schools in Cyprus, including their contact information, is available in electronic form on the Ministry's website and is regularly updated.
    Private Primary Schools are of three types:
    • Schools of the same type: Private schools of the same type are those which strictly follow the curriculum and school timetable of public schools.
    • Schools of a similar type: Private schools of a similar type are those which offer at least 2/3 of the activities/subjects offered in public schools in relation to time, curriculum and subject matter.
    • Schools of a different type: Private schools of a different type are those which do not belong to the neither of the above categories.
    (The above categories also apply to private pre-primary schools.)
  • Community Pre-Primary Schools: These schools are established and function as private pre-primary schools but are not profit-making. They are established to support working parents, where local needs are not met by the public pre-primary schools. They offer quality educational programmes within the framework of the national curriculum, with low tuition fees. Community pre-primary schools can be established by parents’ associations, local authorities, community councils, municipalities, associations or charity organisations. A large number of community pre-primary classes is housed with public pre-primary schools and cater mainly to children aged 3-48/12 years old. Community pre-primary schools follow the directives issued by the relevant authorities as regards the operation of the schools and the employment of pre-primary school teachers. A list of all the community pre-primary schools is available in electronic form on the Ministry's website.

3. Procedure for Establishing and Operating Private Primary and Pre-Primary Schools (including Community Pre-Primary schools)
The Ministry of Education’s Directorate of Primary Education is responsible for the establishing and operating of private primary and pre-primary schools. The procedure which has to be followed by candidate schools is presented below:

3.1 Completion of relevant documents to be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Culture
Applicants must submit all the necessary documents to the Directorate of Primary Education. In particular, applicants must send the following documents:
  • Form Y.P.P./I.S.1 “Declaration of establishing a private school” (Article 4.7)
    In addition to the completed form the following documents should also be attached or taken into consideration:
    (a) Certified copy by the Registrar of Companies regarding the Registration of the Name of School
    (The heading «Éäéùôéêü Ó÷ïëåßï» or "Private School" should precede or follow the name that will be given to the school. The exact name should appear on signs, advertisements, certificates and generally all documents issued by the school.)
    (b) Certificates concerning the premises of the school:
    • Architectural plans in which the classrooms and common areas are indicated
    • Planning permission
    • Building permit
    • Certificate of final approval
    • Certificate of health inspection
    • Fire Safety Certificate
    • Certificate of suitable electrical Installation
    (Note that all the above certificates and permits, and whatever else you may be given by the relevant authority, should be submitted in official certified copies.)
    (c) In section 3(b) of the form, the type of school should be indicated: Same type/ similar type or different type.
    (d) A detailed curriculum which the school will implement (objectives - goals - materials - content - time/teaching periods to be allocated per unit, methodology to be followed).

  • Form Y.P.P./I.S.4 “Declaration of operation of a private school” (Article 8) In addition to the completed form, the following documents should be attached or taken into consideration:
    (a) A list of the proposed members of staff. For each member of staff the form Y.P.P./I.S.3 "Personal Record of Achievements of private school teaching staff" link must be submitted. Any certificates which are noted on the form should also be submitted.
    (b) A list of the school’s equipment and teaching resources, the proposed school timetable and a list of the textbooks and materials to be used.

3.2 Sending forms to the Ministry of Education and Culture
The above documents and certificates should be sent by post to the following address:
Director of Primary Education
Ministry of Education and Culture
1434 Lefkosia

3.3 School Inspection
Once any pending issues are examined and resolved, the candidate school is inspected by Ministry’s Officers and a school inspection report is prepared.

3.4 Forwarding the application to the Private Education Advisory Committee
If the inspection report is found satisfactory, the candidate school’s application is presented at the following meeting of the Private Education Advisory Committee which then submits a recommendation for approving or rejecting the candidate school’s operation to the Minister of Education and Culture (through the Director General).

3.5 Sending the Certificates to the school
If the school’s application is approved, the applicant is sent the relevant registration certificates indicating registration in (á) the Official Registry and (b) the Official Register of Approved Private Schools. The date indicated on the certificates is considered as the official date of the school’s operations approval.

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