Government Guidelines & Requirements For Establishing a Private School In Lagos and Other States

Establishing a private school in Lagos, Abuja, Port-harcourt or anywhere in Nigeria can be one of the most rewarding investments anybody can venture into. Gone are the days when only educationists were permitted to venture into school business. Nowadays, so long as you have the funds to set up a standard nursery, primary or secondary school, you can be given the go ahead so long as you meet the specific requirements.

Now the question is what and what are required to set up a Nursery and primary school as well as secondary school in Nigeria. According to the state and Federal ministry of education, the headmaster or Headmistress (Nursery and Primary school) or Principal of the secondary school must have a B.Edu or a recognized NCE certification and a minimum of 10 years experience in the field of teaching to be eligible to run a school. The proprietress or proprietor does not necessarily have to be an educationist, so long as he or she has the funds to maintain the school to the approved standard the state ministry of education deems appropriate.

In one of our posts, we wrote a well detailed post on how to register and start a Nursery and primary school in Lagos, the post would be most beneficial for individuals interested in running a school in Lagos state as it contains the paper works (documents required), fees to be paid to the ministry of education and all necessary information that would simplify process of setting up a school in Lagos state or any where in Nigeria.

In this post we will be helping you with the complete guidelines of what is obtainable in establishing a private school in Lagos state or any where in Nigeria. We will give the full breakdowns of the requirements needed by the Lagos state ministry of Education in setting up a Nursery, Primary or Secondary school.

This post should serve as a checklist of what needs to be provided because any proprietor or proprietress (school owner) who do not meet the under-listed requirements would be forced to face the law and the school sealed up by the govt.

We shall be discussing the requirements in terms of physical and paper works required to get your school approved by the government one after the other, after which you could confirm the specific requirements attached to the items as seen below.

Firstly, we shall be listing and explaining Items required to be inspected by Lagos state government or Federal ministry of Education when starting a Nursery and Primary school in Lagos or any state in Nigeria after which we will list and explain in full, the requirements for establishing and getting approval from the government for setting up a secondary school in Nigeria.

Government Guidelines & Requirements For Establishing a Private School In Lagos and Other States 1

Guidelines and Requirements For Establishing A Private Nursery and Primary School In Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt or Any State In Nigeria

  • Physical Building Structure
  • Physical Facilities
  • Conducive Classrooms
  • Quality of Teachers
  • Health and Sanitation
  • Playground
  • Safety Facilities
  • Teaching and Statutory Records
  • Beautification of School Compound

Physical Building Structures

In order for your proposed school be it Nursery, primary or secondary school in Nigeria to have the Govt approved status, you must have a building structure that must meet some specifications.

Ideally, it must be built for the purpose of setting up a school with an approved building plan whether rented or leased with at at least 5 years lease agreement, with certificate of occupancy and must meet the minimum land requirement in standard plots of 60`x 120`(18.29m x 36.58m) for Nursery Schools shall be one (1) plot while that of the private Primary shall be one (1) plot.

In addition to the above, the building and premises shall be certified as suitable by the Ministry of Physical Planning  and  Urban Development.

Physical Facilities

The must be some physical facilities present as part of the requirements needed for getting your school approved by either the Lagos state government of respective ministry of education in your state.

There is what is called special rooms which your proposed Nursery, primary or secondary school must posses in order to pass one of the stages of gaining approval from the government, they include:

  1. Library with copies of Lagos State Recommended Text Books suitable for all levels,
  2. Sick bay with Two (2 ½ by 6 single)wooden beds,
  3. Evidence of affiliation to a government recognized hospital close to the school.
  4. Well stocked First Aid Box with a Certified Paramedic or a First Aider and a Weighing Scale.
  5. Functional ICT equipment, A desirable Science Laboratory, Head Teacher’s office, and 9 classrooms (3 pre-primary + 6 Primary (8.36 metres by 6.80 metres) Classes) Assistant Head Teacher`s office. (Optional)
  6. A sizeable multi-purpose hall that can be used for in-door games. (Optional), Functional source of Power.
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Note: Private Schools are advised to use terrazzo flooring or tiles for Special rooms such as ICT Room, Sickbay, Library and Head teacher’s office and in all Nursery classrooms.

Classrooms

  • There shall be a maximum of 25 pupils in Nursery section with ratio 1:8 (One adult to 8 pupils, one qualified teacher with a teaching assistant)and 35 with 2 adults, at least one professionally qualified teacher and an assistant in primary section.
  • The minimum dimensions of each classroom shall be 2.4m (height) x 8.4m (length) x 6.8m (width).
  • A standard classroom should provide an average floor space of 1.2m2 or metre square per student). A pro-rata floor space may be applied where classes contain fewer or more students.
  • The classroom furniture shall include low, round edge tables with single seats adequate in size for the age of the pupils.
  • Availability  of  functional  marker  with  boards/interactive boards. (Optional).
  • Every class to have a well-resourced reading corner
  • All classrooms shall be well lit and ventilated and shall normally have two doors and four windows.

Teacher Quality

The quality of teaching staff would determine the quality of knowledge imparted into students hence teachers quality is one of the most important factors for getting your school approved. Your teaching staff must meet the following requirements;

  • You must have academically and professionally sound and qualified Head Teacher in all classes with teaching assistants in all Nursery and primary classes.
  • Academically and professionally qualified teachers with teaching assistants in all nursery and primary classes.
  • The teacher/pupil ratio shall be 1:25
  • Copies of head teacher’s and teachers’ certificates and credentials must be presented for screening by the ministry of education.

Health and Sanitation

Proper hygiene is a necessity when applying for approval in setting up a nursery, primary and secondary school in Nigeria hence the school must show proof of the underlisted if you want to successfully set up a school in either Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt or any other states in Nigeria.

  • The school must be equipped with at least Six (6) toilets with water closet (w/c) and tiles suitable for all levels indicating clear signs for male and female toilets.
  • A certificates of medical fitness of food vendors must be presented
  • Portable water and wash hand basins in strategic places in the school.
  • Adequate provision to be made for specially challenged pupils.
  • Posted signs on personal hygiene must be made bold and placed in strategic areas.
  • Waste bins with cover in strategic places.
  • Well channeled drainage system.

Playground

There must be playgrounds available for pupils. The playground must be meet the following specifications:

  • Demarcated white, sharp sand filled playground or playground with artificial grass carpet.
  • Available outdoor learning resources provision for nursery classes.
  • Four (4) outdoor resources.(Play gadgets for primary)

Adequate Safety Measures

In any establishment, SAFETY FIRST is embroiled boldly for everyone to see, usually there has to be a muster-point in events of any eventuality or emergencies e.g, fire or other natural disasters. Below are the list of safety measures which are parts of the requirements the government will factor in when considering approval for applicant’s request to set up a private nursery, primary or secondary school in Nigeria.

  • One (1) general and one (1) electrical functional Fire Extinguishers and four Sand buckets in strategic areas in the building.
  • Safety Signs with safety related instructions affixed on the school wall.
  • Evidence of school policy on child protection.
  • Sample of identification given to parents/guardians.
  • List of children using school bus where applicable.
  • Fire exit in classrooms and proto-type building.
  • A well plastered fence with a manned gate for security and an opportunity to register at the gate
  • A record book on fire drill
  • Bold prints of Vision and Mission statement clearly displayed in the school.

Teaching and Statutory Records

The following records kept in the school are to be inspected by officers from relevant departments of the Ministry of Education.

  • School Development Plan
  • Vision and Mission Statements
  • National Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Lagos State Approved Booklist.
  • Unified Schemes of Work
  • Timetable For Extra-Curricular Activities
  • School Rules and Regulations.
  • Constitution and Minutes of Meeting of the Governing Body on School Letter-Head papers.
  • List Of Board Of Governors/PTA/Parents’ Forum And CV Of Each Member
  • Sponsors’ Curriculum Vitae (CV) And Credentials
  • Attendance Registers.
  • Provision for Co-Curricular Activities.
  • PAYE Deduction Receipts
  • Register of Admission, Progress and Withdrawal
  • Proprietor/ Proprietress 3 years Tax Clearance.
  • A Log Book, Visitors’ book and an Inspection Report File.
  • School Time Table and Subject Analysis, Programme of Activities(Term Plan)
  • Punishment Book and Commendation Book
  • A copy of the Education Law- All regulations there under and any amendments thereto.
  • Teachers’ Personal Time Table; Time Table in each classroom
  • A Copy of the Approved Syllabus.
  • Teachers’ Lessons Notes
  • Teachers’ Weekly Diaries Of All Work Done
  • Copies Of Pupils’ Continuous Assessment Dossiers
  • File On Instructions To Staff
  • File On Library Books
  • File On Circulars from the Ministry.
  • Diaries Of Work/Schemes Of Work
  • Accounts’ Book
  • Copies of the current National Policy on Education, State Policy on Education.
  • Personal files of the teaching and non-teaching staff
  • Time Book, Movement Book, School Inventory Book
  • Copies of relevant and prevailing Education Laws.
  • Guidelines on Establishment of Private Schools in Lagos State.
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Beautification of the School Compound

  • Painting of all the inner classes and corridors in bright colours with beautiful display boards.
  • Well plastered and painted fence with adequate security and safety measures put in place.
  • Natural and Potted assorted beautiful flowers.

The above are the guidelines, requirements and items that must be put in order when establishing a private Nursery and primary school in Lagos or any where in Nigeria, without which the approval of your request to set up a school will not be given due consideration.

Having discussed in full the guidelines and requirement for setting up a nursery and primary school in Lagos state and Nigeria as a whole, below are the guidelines and requirements for getting approval for establishing a private secondary school in Nigeria.

Government Guidelines & Requirements For Establishing a Private School In Lagos and Other States 3

Guidelines and Requirements For Establishing A Private Secondary School In Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt or Any State In Nigeria

  • Physical Building Structure
  • Physical Facilities
  • Conducive Classrooms
  • Quality of Teachers
  • Health and Sanitation
  • Playground
  • Safety Facilities
  • Teaching and Statutory Records
  • Beautification of School Compound

Building Structure

  • The building structure must be sited on a two (2) standard plots of size 60’ x 120’ (approx. 18m x 36m) size.
  • The purpose built/ Restructured must be constructed to suit purpose with an approved building plan or rented building with at least five (5) years lease agreement and Certificate of Occupancy.
  • The School must not be situated within 500 meters radius from each other.

Physical Facilities

  • Availability of the following special rooms:
  • A  well-resourced and well ventilated Physics Laboratory with 12mx90m dimension.
  • A well-resourced and ventilated Chemistry Laboratory with 12mx90m dimension.
  • A well-resourced and well ventilated Biology Laboratory (12mx90m).
  • A well-resourced and well ventilated Agricultural Science Laboratory (120mx90m). (Optional)
  • Each of the Laboratories shall have a preparatory room and store measuring 4.4mx3.6m.
  • Home Economics Room (80m”²” ) to cater for the teaching of Foods/Nutrition, Home Management and Clothing and Textile.
  • Fine Art Studio.
  • Functional ICT. (Optional)
  • Basic Technology/ Technical Drawing Workshop (156m”²”).
  • A well-resourced Library (200m”²” ).
  • Sick bay with Two (2½ by 6 single) beds and well stocked First Aid Box with a Certified Paramedic or a First Aider and a Weighing Machine.
  • At least a Multipurpose Hall adequately furnished with not less than fifty collapsible (50) single tables and stackable chairs.
  • At least Six (56.8m”²” ) well ventilated classrooms
  • Principal’s Office with Ante Room and appropriate furniture.
  • Spacious and well-resourced Staff Room(s).
  • Stand-by Generator/ Inverter/ Solar Power
  • A Private Secondary School running boarding houses must provide well lit and ventilated different designated male/female blocks for dormitories with beds students` lockers and dining hall with different standard kitchens and stores(check brochure for minimum standard)
  • Proprietors running boarding schools must provide staff quarters for the house masters/mistresses within the school premises.
  • It shall not be obligatory for students in a private secondary school to be boarders.
  • A Private Secondary School shall utilize premises solely for the purpose of running a school. The premises shall not be registered for any other business purposes.

Classroom 

  • Unlike primary schools, the government approved standard secondary school class room requires a maximum of 35 students with at least 1 adult.
  • A standard classroom should provide an average floor space of 1.2m2 per student). A pro-rata floor space may be applied where classes contain fewer or more students.
  • Availability of functional marker/interactive white boards in all the classes and display boards in the corridors.
  • Every class to have a well-resourced reading corner

The Quality Teaching Staff

  • Teachers’ nominal roll.
  • The minimum qualification for teachers shall  be University degrees and HND with evidence of Professional training in education respectively.
  • The teacher/pupil ratio of teacher shall be 1:35.
  • The overall staff ratio shall be two (2) teachers per class, to  include  principals  and  vice-principals  on  the following basis. In addition to a principal, there shall be two (2) vice-principals for a full-fledged six stream secondary school with student population of about one thousand (1,000) and one (1) vice-principal for schools with population less than one thousand.
  • Principals and vice principals will have a minimum of 10 years of teaching experience.
  • All teachers must be registered with the Teachers’Registration Council.
  • No school or Institute may appoint non-Nigerian staff, except in accordance with national immigration and labour laws.
  • Exemplary teaching assistants to support learning.

Health and Sanitation

Talking about health and sanitation, the following must be adhered to strictly when setting up a and private secondary school in Nigeria.

  • Eight (8) toilets with water closet (w/c) and tiled floor and walls at least to window level.
  • Certificates of medical fitness of food vendors
  • Portable water and wash hand basins in strategic places.
  • Poster signs on personal hygiene
  • Waste bins with cover in strategic places.
  • Well channeled drainage system
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Playground

Multipurpose field (100metres away from classroom) which must be adequately equipped with games and Sport facilities/Indoor games for recreation should be inclusive.

Safety Measure and Facilities

  • Minimum of four (4) functional Cylinders of Fire Extinguisher. (Electrical and General).
  • Sand buckets in strategic areas and Safety Signs with safety related instructions affixed on the school wall.
  • Evidence of school policy on child protection
  • Sample of identification given to parents/guardians.
  • List of students using school bus.
  • Fire exit in classrooms and proto-type building.
  • A well plastered fence with a manned gate for security and an opportunity to register at the gate.
  • A record book on fire drill

Teaching/Statutory Records

The following records kept in the school  are  to be inspected by officers from relevant  departments in the Office of Education Quality Assurance.

  • School Development Plan
  • Vision And Mission Statements Statement on Flexible Banners Hung in Strategic Parts of the Building.
  • National Junior/Senior Secondary Curriculum
  • Lagos State Schemes of Work
  • Timetable for Extra-Curricular Activities
  • School Rules and Regulations.
  • Constitution  and  Minutes  of  Meeting  of The Governing Body on School Letter-Head.
  • List of Board of Governors/PTA/Parents’ Forum and CV of each member.
  • Sponsors’ Curriculum Vitae (CV) And Credentials.
  • Attendance Registers.
  • Provision for Co-Curricular Activities.
  • PAYE Deduction Receipts
  • Proprietor/Proprietress 3 Years Tax Clearance.
  • Register of Admission, Progress and Withdrawal
  • A Log Book, an Inspection Report File and A Visitors’ Book.
  • School Time Table and Analysis
  • A Corporal Punishment Book/Commendation Book.
  • A Copy of the Education Law- All Regulations There Under and Any Amendments Thereto.
  • Teachers’ Personal Time Table ,Time Table In Each Classroom.
  • A Copy of the Approved Syllabus and Scheme of Work.
  • Teachers’ Lessons Notes.
  • Teachers’ Weekly Diaries of All Work Done
  • Copies of Students Continuous Assessment Dossiers.
  • File on Instructions to Staff
  • Inventory on Library Only.
  • File on Circulars from the Ministry.
  • Diaries of Work/Schemes of Work
  • Accounts’ Book
  • Copies of the Current National Policy on Education, State Policy on Education.
  • Personal files of the teaching and non-teaching staff.
  • Time Book.
  • Movement Book
  • School Inventory Book
  • Copies of Relevant and Prevailing Education Laws.
  • Guidelines on Establishment of Private Schools in Lagos State.

Beautification of The School Compound

  • Painting of all the inner classes and corridors in bright colours and equipping them with beautiful display boards.
  • Well plastered fence
  • Natural and Potted assorted beautiful flowers where applicable.

Judging from the above guidelines and requirements for setting up and establishing a private school business in Nigeria whether nursery, primary or secondary school, is quite bulky, all these have been putting place to maintain the quality in all subjects offered in both Nursery and secondary schools as well as the general standard of education in Nigeria.

In the real world setting, most approved private schools do not have all the above requirements but are given a time frame to get them all however, there are some that must be met which includes the physical building, safety measures and others listed above.

Upon submission of request, you are advised to follow up and do the needful while awaiting a favorable response (approval) from the department in charge.

We hope this was helpful enough? if you have gone through this process before kindly inform us via the comment section as this would further help others who might need the information for private consumption.

Best of luck.

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