The main considerations for choosing a junior high school are: location and distance to school, incidence of bullying or truancy in the school, environment of school, whether good friends were attending the same school, personal guidance or hearsay. Private junior schools were chosen by parents who wanted a higher level of academic achievement from their children.
Results of a 2005 survey-questionnaire sent to schools of 6th grade parents (in two wards of metropolitan Tokyo that permit school choice for public junior high schools) showed:
- 90.8% of the 6th-grader parents send their children to a cram school, and those whose children attended cram school four or more days a week accounted for 65.2%.
- Parents who select a private junior high school for their child tend to be parents with time and economic influence (home-makers or self-employed with one child) and the most common reason for sending their children to a private junior high school was that they wanted their children to achieve a higher level of academic achievement
- Parents who select public junior high schools make their choice on the basis of location, incidence of bullying, and personal guidance. Among parents who selected a public school outside the school district, 45% reported that a particularly important criterion was little incidence of bullying and truancy, indicating that bullying was a crucial consideration. The most important criteria for these parents in selection were distance to school, environment and whether good friends also attended the school.
- The survey also showed that a large percentage of parents tend to select the school based on hearsay.
- 26.8% of the parents consider private junior high schools at exam time, including the 0.9% who consider junior high schools affiliated with national universities, and 25.4% actually enroll their children in private junior high schools.
- Most of the mothers of children who enrolled in a private junior high school were full-time homemakers or self-employed and the children were often the only child. This indicates that time and economic affluence are key factors in the choice of a private junior high school.
Source: Child Research Net Cybrary