costs to set up a school

Costs to Set Up a School (Small and Moderate Budget)

We are frequently asked about the costs to set up a school.

It is a very difficult question to answer because of many factors.

Numerous variables influence the costs of setting up a school, including location, real estate prices, local regulations, and the cost of living, which impacts teacher salaries. The target market’s socioeconomic status, competition, and marketing expenses also play a role. Curriculum-related costs include licensing fees, development, and teacher training.

School size affects classroom needs, student-to-teacher ratios, and administrative support. Facilities require significant investment in construction, specialized areas, and equipment. Technology costs cover IT infrastructure, classroom technology, and software. Operational expenses encompass utilities, security, transportation, and maintenance. Legal and regulatory fees, marketing, admissions, extra-curricular activities, and financial planning are critical components.

Additional considerations include insurance, community engagement, professional memberships, and contingency funds. Each variable affects the overall cost and feasibility, necessitating careful planning and budgeting.

When people ask this question, they usually refer to a smaller school that plans to expand and develop over time.

That’s why we created the GSE Smart School Franchise model.

We have created the following list to outline most of the basics and as a helpful checklist for a small or moderate school or Kindergarten. (See the list below)

It is difficult to estimate exact costs but a small kindergarten or school, in some locations can be developed over time on a reasonable budget, equivalent to other small businesses.

Small Schools and Kindergartens

  • Initial Setup Costs: $200,000 – $1,800,000
  • Annual Recurring Costs: $120,000 – $570,000 (Until break even is reached)

For a more comprehensive plan, contact us about our Market Research and Feasibility Studies, which include Financial Modelling and a Business Plan.

Premium Schools

  • Initial Setup Costs: $5,000,000 – $50,000,000 (Facility costs can reach $100,000,000+)
  • Annual Recurring Costs: $1,000,000 – $5,000,000 (Until break even is reached)

For a more comprehensive plan, contact us about our Market Research and Feasibility Studies, which include Financial Modelling and a Business Plan.

To calculate size requirements: How Much Area is Required to Set Up a School?

To calculate school construction costs: School Construction Costs

See our list of cost considerations below aimed to support plans for a small or moderate school budget.

It is a list of general costs to set up a school.

costs to set up a school

Costs to Set Up a School

Facility Costs to Set Up a School

  1. Purchase or Lease of Property
    • Land purchase or lease fees
    • Real estate agent fees
    • Legal fees for property acquisition
  2. Construction or Renovation
    • Architectural and engineering fees
    • Construction or renovation costs
    • Permits and inspections
    • Landscaping
  3. Utilities Installation
    • Electrical wiring
    • Plumbing
    • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
    • Water and sewer connections

Equipment and Furnishings

  1. Classroom Furniture
    • Desks and chairs
    • Teacher desks and chairs
    • Storage cabinets and bookshelves
  2. Office Equipment and Furniture
    • Office desks and chairs
    • Filing cabinets
    • Reception area furniture
  3. Technology and IT Infrastructure
    • Computers and tablets
    • Projectors and smartboards
    • Printers and copiers
    • Network infrastructure (servers, routers, switches)
  4. Specialized Rooms and Equipment
    • Science lab equipment
    • Library bookshelves and seating
    • Art room supplies and equipment
    • Music room instruments

Curriculum and Learning Materials

  1. Textbooks and Workbooks
    • Grade-specific textbooks
    • Workbooks and supplementary materials
  2. Teaching Aids
    • Educational software
    • Classroom posters and charts
    • Manipulatives and educational toys
  3. Library Resources
    • Books and e-books
    • Subscriptions to educational journals

Staffing Costs

  1. Recruitment and Hiring
    • Advertising for job openings
    • Interview and background check costs
  2. Salaries and Benefits
    • Teacher salaries
    • Administrative staff salaries
    • Benefits (health insurance, retirement plans)
  3. Professional Development
    • Training and workshops
    • Continuing education courses

Operational Costs

  1. Administrative Costs
    • Office Supplies
    • Printing and copying
    • Postage and mailing
  2. Utility Bills
    • Electricity
    • Water and sewer
    • Internet and phone services
  3. Maintenance and Repairs
    • Regular building maintenance
    • Emergency repairs
    • Janitorial services
  4. Security
    • Security systems (cameras, alarms)
    • Security personnel

Licensing and Compliance Costs to Set Up a School

  1. Licensing Fees
    • State or local education department fees
    • Accreditation fees
  2. Insurance
    • Liability insurance
    • Property insurance
    • Workers’ compensation

Costs to Set Up a School

Marketing and Outreach

  1. Advertising and Promotion
    • Website development and maintenance
    • Brochures and flyers
    • Online advertising (social media, search engines)
  2. Community Outreach
    • Open house events
    • School fairs and community events

Contingency Fund

  1. Emergency Funds
    • Unexpected expenses
    • Budget overruns

By considering these costs, you can create a comprehensive budget and plan for setting up a small school or kindergarten.

GSE supports schools of all shapes and sizes, and in fact, we have a small school franchise model that we call the GSE Smart School. This model incorporates many of the essential policies, procedures and systems required to launch a new school on a moderate budget.

GSE Smart School

Our inclusions in the GSE Smart School Franchise model include:

  • Space programming and master planning support for the school site
  • Internal facilities planning and advisory support, including classrooms and internal layout
  • Operations Documents, Policies and Procedures (editable)
  • Emergency Plans (editable)
  • Staff Handbooks and Guides (editable)
  • Key Personnel Job Descriptions (editable)
  • Documentation Required for Accreditation & Licensing
  • (available for all major accreditation bodies)
  • Curriculum Advisory Support*
  • Benchmarks & Standards (Including Literacy, Numeracy and all Core Subjects)
  • Lesson Plan Templates and Guidelines (editable)
  • Teacher Training Program (provide content including presentations and evaluation tools)
  • Teacher Observation Forms and Evaluation Rubric
  • Advisory Support for Classroom Resource List
  • Initial Website, Email, Social Media Set Up (Website to be hosted under the school at their expense)
  • Marketing E-Brochure Prospectus and Templates (First Draft)
  • 24/7 Online Guidance and Support from Academic Directors (
  • Checklist for Opening a School
  • Use of GSE SMART School Logo and Branding (Located on website and brochures)
  • Curriculum Overviews (available for all major curriculums)
  • School visits

“GSE sets up and operates schools on behalf of investors, education groups or individuals.”

Our team has extensive experience in this field. Many of our team members began as Head of School, moved on to corporate roles in international business, and have extensive experience living and working in many far-flung reaches of the globe.

Our team has led projects of up to $300 Million USD and currently has projects in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

If you want to learn more about the steps required to set up a school, check out some of our other articles:

Steps to Setting Up a New School

10 Steps and Articles on How to Set Up a New School

GSE International School Franchise Models

GSE provides specialist services to set up all forms of education institutions, including international schools, kindergartens, vocational colleges, universities and online/virtual schools.

Contact Us Directly 👇

CEO and Education Expert Greg Parry

Greg Parry

Internationally renowned for his expertise in education leadership, Greg Parry’s vast experience includes leadership of projects for education institutions throughout Australia, the Middle East, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Recognised for his numerous contributions in the education arena, Greg has received the Minister’s Award for Excellence in School Leadership based on improvements in school performance and a range of successful principal training and leadership development programs, as well as the School of Excellence Award for Industry/School Partnerships and the School of Excellence Award for Technology Innovation. His company GSE (Global Services in Education) has been recognised as having the Best Global Brand in International Education in 2015 and 2016.

Considered one of the premier experts in his profession, Greg has trained teachers and principals worldwide in critical thinking, language development, and leadership. His expertise in school start-up projects, leadership, and curriculum development has made him a sought-after authority in this discipline.

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Global Services in Education establishes and operates schools worldwide. Guided by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion for inspiring and collaborating to shape international education and student achievement.
Our goal is to meet the highest objectives of every school, teacher, student and parent, with an unwavering dedication to quality education, shared ideals and intercultural perspectives.