Compulsory education

[Question]My fifth-grade child is coming to Japan to live with me. What school options are available for him?

A child coming from overseas has several options to choose from when it comes to elementary schools – public schools, private schools, and international schools including ethnic schools.

If you wish to send your son to a public school, first, you need to go to the board of education of the city he will reside in and talk with officials at the education affairs section. Afterward, they will send you a “notice of school entrance” and an “admission to school entrance/transfer,” and let you know when and which school to visit.

If you wish to enroll your child to a private school, you need to talk to the school directly since each school has different admission policies. Please contact the school you wish to send your child to for detailed information.

International schools are privately-run schools for foreign and Japanese children, which offer classes in English or other languages. School operations are diverse -- from legally incorporated educational institutes to institutions unrecognized by the Japanese government, and a majority of them are classified as schools in the “miscellaneous” category under the Japanese education system. If you wish to send him to such a school in the middle of the school year, check each school to see if they have student vacancies.

[Question]Our child, who cannot speak Japanese at all, will be transferred from his junior high school back home to a public junior high school in Japan. Will some support be available to him?

 At public elementary and junior high schools in Osaka, Japanese language instruction is mainly provided by regular classroom teachers and can be supplemented by interpreters and classroom supporters dispatched from the board of education. Upon request, interpreters are available for parent-teacher conferences and other occasions. For details, please ask your classroom teacher. Also please refer to the Multilingual information on school life.