Enrolling a Child at School

Information on the school enrolment procedure in Japan…

Foreigners who wish to enrol their child at a government school should go to the Board of Education office at their local ward or city hall and complete the following procedure:

  • Register as an Alien Resident (if this has not yet been done)
  • Complete the School Entrance Application Form for Foreign Children
  • Receive the School Entrance Permission for Foreign Children document

Once this procedure is finished, parents should take all the paperwork and go with their child to the school. Attendance at most government primary and junior high schools is based on the school district where the parents live. Therefore, enrolment is usually decided automatically. The name of the school will be stated on the School Entrance Permission document.

Language support

Skipping grades is very unusual in Japan and children are usually enrolled in the grade which corresponds with their age. However, if the child does not understand Japanese and parents wish them to start in a lower grade this should be discussed with the school or the local board of education. A child's previous education will be a factor in the decision.

Many local governments have a support system in place for foreign students, such as giving extra Japanese classes. Parents should contact their local authority for more details.

Parents of children entering high school should contact their local authority or school to find the best way to proceed with their application.

  • For information from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: Click here (PDF)
  • For information from the Osaka Prefectural Government about schooling in Japan for international students: Click here

Vaccinations

The following vaccinations are required before a child starts primary school:

  • BCG (tuberculosis)
  • DPT (diphtheria pertussis tetanus)
  • Japanese B Encephalitis
  • Measles and Rubella
  • Polio

If parents need more information, they should contact their local authority.

Insurance

Individual insurance is not required because schools themselves are usually insured. However, some parents choose to have private accident insurance, as well as a separate, supplementary insurance called Educational Endowment Insurance. This insurance is offered by private insurance companies and there are various schemes available.