General regulations

  • There are no registration requirements, and accreditation, licensing and approval are optional except for schools serving students with disabilities. In this case, licensing is required.

  • The Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Virginia.

  • Instruction in the home of a child or children by the parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of such child or children shall not be classified or defined as a private, denominational, or parochial school.

  • The VCPE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.

Education regulations and resources for starting a private school in the state of Virginia

State funding sources & support

Virginia provides funding for private education:

Curriculum requirements

The commonwealth of Virginia does not require any specific curriculum for private schools.

Teacher certification & hiring

Teacher certification is not required by the commonwealth; however, an approved accrediting association may set its own requirements for teacher credentials.

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Our comprehensive Starting a Private School guide includes great information for funding, curriculum, hiring & much more that applies no matter where you’re opening your school.

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Food services / school lunch

In Virginia, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.

Length of school year

Students must attend school at least 180 days per year.

Recordkeeping and reports

Teachers must track and report on student attendance.

Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized or provide documentation of a medical or religious exemption.


Local school districts may, though are not required to, enter into agreements with private schools to provide students transportation to and from school.


Private school students are not required to participate in state administered tests unless the student is a child with a disability who has been placed by a local school division

State and regional associations

  • Virginia Association of Independent Schools: a nonprofit membership association that provides services to 95 independent private schools across Virginia, which serve more than 30,000 students in grades PreKindergarten-12.

  • Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS): The mission of SAIS is to strengthen member schools by providing high-quality accreditation processes, comprehensive professional growth opportunities, and visionary leadership development programs.

Starting a Private School

Want to know more about opening a school? We’ve assembled a complete guide to starting a private school, with considerations for everything from planning and finance to branding, hiring, curriculum, facilities, and more!

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We've done our best to pull together current and accurate information. Even so, there may be omissions or mistakes or content that needs to be updated. If you have recommendations for any resources or corrections, we appreciate your input so we can continue to improve this guide for everyone. 

Nothing in this guide should be construed as legal, business, or tax advice. It is important that you engage qualified professionals who can advise you on such matters, and please visit the Department of Education pages for your state to verify you are in compliance with all regulations.

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