Advice about permanent residence, what to do if you move house, applying to schools across county boundaries, and arriving from overseas.

Your principal, permanent home address is the one that is used to help allocate a school place to your child. Each address in North Yorkshire is located in one or several school catchment areas which help determine which school your child will be offered, if the school you prefer is oversubscribed. You can learn more about how catchment areas work here. The definition of 'home address' or 'principal, permanent residence', for the purpose of school admissions is the address at which your child resides most of the time.

As a general rule, when filling in the application form, you should use your address at the time you submit the form. If that address is in North Yorkshire, no matter where the schools are located in the UK that you are applying to or what your future plans are, then you need to use our application form.

Here are some situations that may apply to you. You may find that more than one is relevant.

Your situation What you should do
You are moving house. You will have completed the move before the deadline. You can use our form as normal once your move is complete and the new address has become your permanent residence. Be aware you may be asked to provide evidence that it is your permanent residence (see below).
You are moving from outside the county to a North Yorkshire address. You will not have completed the move until after the deadline. If you are moving after the application deadline, you need to use the application form of the authority where you currently live. Then when you move, notify us.
You live in North Yorkshire but you want to preference a school outside North Yorkshire. Use our form. You can preference schools located in any UK education authority on the North Yorkshire common application form. We suggest however that you still preference your catchment school. Please read our advice about preferencing before you submit your form.
You live outside of North Yorkshire but want to preference a school in North Yorkshire. If this is the case, you should apply to the authority where you live. Your home authority will liaise with North Yorkshire and your home authority will send out the offer of a school place to you.
You are living at a temporary address. We do not usually accept a temporary address if you still possess a property which was previously used as your home address.
You will soon be moving house but not until after the application deadline. Give your address at the time of filling in the form. When you move, you need to notify us of the new address. If you move before the National Offer Day for secondary or primary you must notify us as this may affect the offer of a school place. You need to be aware that no changes can be made after 19 December 2021 for secondary school places or 19 February 2022 for primary school places until after National Offer Day. Find instructions for making changes to your application after the deadline here
Your child has two home addresses. Please read our advice for separated parents here.

Your permanent principal address is a grandparent’s/friend’s/family member’s address

The family member will need to complete a third party declaration form to confirm you and your child are living at their address. Please contact the admissions team to request this. You will also need to provide two pieces of evidence from list B (see below in 'What evidence of residence do I need to provide').
You are returning to a property that you already own. You will need to provide written evidence of the date you will resume living in the property . If you have rented out this property you need to provide evidence that you have given your tenants notice to leave.

Please have a look at our advice on filling in your schools application form to help you decide which form to use according to your child's age and your circumstances.

We may ask for evidence of your residence at the address you have given us on your form, or the address you are moving to.

Proof of Address Assessment Protocol

(Please note: This protocol applies to the end of the academic Year 2022/2023)

1. Introduction

1.1. This protocol sets out the procedure by which we will process changes of addresses including the investigation of fraudulent or intentionally misleading addresses used for application purposes.

1.2. This protocol should be read in conjunction with the “Information for Parents” and other information provided in the school admissions section of our website and the School Admissions Code on the Government's website.

2. Requirement

2.1. Admission authorities have a duty to ensure school places are offered fairly and accurately in line with determined admission arrangements. Demand for school places in North Yorkshire has risen year on year and we take the duty to ensure that no school place is offered incorrectly seriously; where a child is allocated a place using a fraudulent or misleading address, another child loses their rightful place at the school.

2.2. Admission authorities have a legitimate interest in processing data that would prevent a school place being offered incorrectly. For community and voluntary controlled schools, the admission authority is the local authority (LA). For other schools the admission authority is either the school’s governing body or the academy trust. These schools, referred to as own admission authority schools, include voluntary aided, foundation, trust and free schools, as well as academies.

2.3 When a school is oversubscribed the oversubscription criteria will be applied in accordance with our determined admissions arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools. Any distance measurements use our Geographical Information System (GIS). 

2.4. The majority of own admission authority schools within North Yorkshire also prioritise by distance when oversubscribed, with the method for measuring these distances set out in their own admission arrangements.

2.5. In order to prioritise applicants fairly and accurately, admission authorities must be satisfied that applications have been made from a child’s principal permanent residence to ensure distances, where applicable, are measured from the appropriate address.

2.6. This protocol relates to the validation of addresses, prevention of fraudulent or misleading use of addresses and the detection of addresses of convenience for any application processed by ourselves; either received directly or via another local authority as part of the co-ordinated admission scheme.

2.7. Where an application names an own admission authority school, any decision regarding the use of an address rests with the relevant governing body or academy trust and not with ourselves, unless the school ask the Local Authority to act on their behalf. We will liaise with own admission authority schools with regards to an investigation. Own admission authority schools have the right to undertake their own investigations where they feel it is necessary.

3. Home Address

3.1. A child’s home address is defined within our admission arrangements as being their principal permanent residence, and excludes any business, relative’s or child-minder’s address. It is expected to be where the child’s parent or primary guardian resides. We will not accept a temporarily rented address to secure a school place for your child.

3.2. Split residency:

  • Where a child resides at more than one address, the address to be used should be where the child lives for the majority of the school week (Monday to Friday), either by private arrangement or as stipulated in a court order.
  • Where there is a court order which states that the child will live an equal amount of school time with each of two parents/carers, then the address at which any Child Benefit is claimed should be used.  If Child Benefit is not applicable the address at which the child is registered with a GP should be used.
  • If the child resides equal time with each of two parents/carers, and there is no court order governing with whom the child is to live and when they are to live with those persons, then the address at which any Child Benefit is claimed should be used.  If Child Benefit is not applicable the address at which the child is registered with a GP should be used.

Please note additional checks will be made and we may require sight of the court order. The final decision as to which parent’s address is used rests with ourselves.

3.3. For the normal year of entry (Reception, Year 3 (Junior Schools only) and Year 7),the address to be used will be where the child lives on the closing date for applications.  A change of address may be accepted, upon receipt of sufficient proof of residence, by ourselves up to the last date for changes as stated in the 2022/2023 Co Ordinated Admissions Arrangements. Any changes which take place after this date will be considered after National Offer Day.

If the child lives abroad at the time of applying, the overseas address should be used, with the exception of children of UK Service personnel and Crown Servants who may use a UK Unit or quartering address on the production of an official Government letter declaring a relocation date

We are not able to vary the process for parents who cannot complete house moves in time for us to use the new address for admissions purposes. For this reason, it is very important that you are aware of the key dates in our admissions process and ensure you move and provide us with evidence of this within the admissions deadlines.

If you move into North Yorkshire from another Local Authority it is your responsibility to comply with the key dates in our admissions process. If you move out of North Yorkshire to another Local Authority it is your responsibility to comply with the key dates of the new Local Authority.

Academies, Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, and schools in other areas/ Local Authorities may have different deadlines so you must check their rules carefully.

3.4 Any offer of a place on the basis of address is conditional on the child living at the relevant address. Applicants have a responsibility to notify the Admissions Team of any change of address.

4. In-Year Applications for children living overseas

4.1. For in-year applications, where UK passport holders apply for a school place whilst living abroad, the application will be processed whilst they are still abroad up to 6 weeks in advance of the requested start date.

4.2. For non UK passport holders applications will be processed on their arrival in the UK. 

4.3. For families of service personnel with a confirmed posting, or crown servants returning from overseas, a place can be allocated in advance (as long as one is available) provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date. All requests will be considered up to 6 weeks in advance of the requested start date.

5. Address Verification Process

5.1. There are a number of reasons why we may investigate an address. Addresses will be checked when information indicates that a specific address may not be the child’s principal permanent residence, whilst others may be randomly checked. Reasons for investigation may include, although are not restricted to the following.

  • Where a change of address is reported after an application is first submitted
  • Review of applications for oversubscribed or popular schools
  • Spot checking of applications
  • Applications for children whose current school is not in the local area of the address preferenced on the application form.
  • Where information stored on our database indicates another family lives at the same address
  • Where the applicant’s address does not match the address provided to the child’s current or preferred school
  • Known short-term rental addresses near popular schools
  • Those who have been resident at an address for less than 18 months and who previously resided at an address further away from a popular school
  • Where correspondence is returned to us or school as ‘Addressee Unknown’
  • Where any other suspicions are raised about the permanence and authenticity of an applicant’s address.

5.2. We may refuse to accept a temporary address if an applicant still owns or rents an address at which their child previously lived. Renting out an owned property or putting it up for sale may not deem it unavailable to the family. A property would only be deemed unavailable to the family from the date of completion.

5.3. Applicants will initially be asked to provide one document from Group 1, one document from Group 2 and one document from Group 3. (3 documents) Please mark which group the document is from. We will not accept any other documents without prior agreement.

5.4. We will not accept documents that are sent in individually and the address change will not be considered until all proof of residency documentation is received.

Only one document from each of the groups below will be accepted. The documents required to verify an address are as follows:

Please provide the 3 documents at the same time clearly mark which group they are from.
Documents sent  individually on different dates will not be accepted

One document only from Group One

Group 1

12 months tenancy agreement, fully completed and signed (by all parties) showing the applicant's name and the full address

  • in this case, proof of the sale or rental of the applicant's previous address will also be required. (See Group 3) It is expected that this would be from the date the new rented property was taken out.
  • A 6 month tenancy maybe considered in exceptional situations for example you have relocated to North Yorkshire with a view to purchase a property and the distance from the applicants original address is not commutable. In this instance you would need to provide written confirmation from your landlord that they will not issue a 12 month tenancy agreement and the reason(s) why or confirmation that it is a 6 month rolling tenancy with the expectation that you will be in the property for longer than 6 months.

Completion statement confirming house purchase, showing the applicant’s name and the full address of the property (in this case, proof of the sale or rental of the applicant's previous address will also be required).

We do not accept exchange of contract as proof of purchase.

Evidence of ownership- if returning to a property you already own, you will need to provide evidence you own the property eg land registry document, along with the date you will resume living there.

  • If you have rented out this property you need to provide evidence that you have given your tenants notice to leave.

A third party declaration form ie where you have moved or are moving to live with another family member. The family member will be required to complete a declaration form to confirm you are living at their address. Please email the Admissions Team for the form.

One document only from Group Two

Group 2

A current, valid full UK photo-card driving licence with signature, showing updated address

  • A copy of the applicants motor insurance showing the updated address.
  • An official document from: the Benefits Agency, HM Revenue & Customs (P45s and P60s are not accepted)
  • An addressed payslip showing updated address.
Group 3

A copy of your removal invoice showing both the address you have left and the new address.

  • A copy of the completion statement showing the property has been sold.
  • Confirmation from the Landlord / Agency that the tenancy has finished and confirming the date that you left or will be leaving the property.
  • A final exit bill eg utilities, exit council tax bill for the property you are leaving.

We reserve the right to seek any additional evidence deemed necessary.

Any other type of house move – Please contact us for specific advice.

All applications for a change of address and proof of residence will be considered by a panel consisting of 3 senior officers of the Local Authority. If we are not satisfied with the documentation provided further evidence will be requested.

5.5. We reserve the right to cross-check address information with our other departments, Borough and District Councils, local authorities, current/previous schools and other relevant agencies. We will require original documents or certified copies to validate the authenticity of any supporting evidence provided. If you are unable to provide the documentation required please contact School Admissions.

5.6.If a previous property is still owned or rented by the applicant then evidence will be required showing that this property is no longer the principal permanent residence of the family. This would include evidence that the property is either let out on a long term rental (12 months or more), that the address is uninhabitable, or that the address is in the process of being sold (not just for sale) and the family live permanently in an alternative property. This evidence is required to prove that an applicant is not living at this property but does not, in itself, prove that a fraudulent or misleading address (see section 5) has not been used. In cases such as this, renting out the owned property on a short-term basis (for example, for a year during the application process) may not be treated as making it unavailable to the primary carer.

5.7. If sufficient documentation is received the application address will be changed, however, we reserve the right to check the validity of an address at any point following the allocation of a place. 

5.8. If we are not satisfied with the evidence, correspondence will be sent to the applicant confirming this. This will explain:

  • The reason why the address has not been accepted
  • Describe our definition of an address of convenience
  • Set out why we have a duty to ensure the correct address is used
  • that the application will be processed using the address believed by us to be the home address.
  • That the application will be returned to the local authority where this address is located (if applicable)

5.9. Applicant Response Received

On receipt of any additional supporting evidence, we will review the evidence provided and decide where, on the balance of probability, a child permanently resides and whether or not the address can be accepted as the child’s principal permanent residence.

If sufficient documentation is received and accepted the application address will be changed, however if this is outside of the timescales this maybe after National Offer Day. Please note we reserve the right to check the validity of an address at any point following the allocation of a place.

5.10. We have legitimate interest in detecting where a school place is being offered using a misleading or fraudulent address. Schools have a corresponding legitimate interest in sharing data with us in order for the detection of such cases. We will share any data deemed relevant as part of any investigation. Where any suspicion of a fraudulent or misleading address falls outside our administrative authority, we reserve the right to liaise with the relevant home local authority.

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we may share any information supplied as part of your application within the council and other agencies in order to prevent and detect fraud, but only the minimum amount of information necessary and only where it is lawful to do so.

5.11. Address Visits

We reserve the right to initiate visits to the applicant’s address or any other address suspected to be the residence of the family in order to verify the accuracy of address information. The aim of these visits will be to verify that the address information provided in the application form is accurate. No visit will be undertaken in a covert manner but they will be unannounced in order to best assess the regular occupant at a specific address. These checks are carried out by Veritau, a Local Authority shared service company, which provides internal audit, information governance and counter fraud services on behalf of ourselves.

If Veritau are unable to make contact with an occupant during a visit, a letter will be left confirming that an attempted visit took place. This letter will ask the occupant to contact ourselves before the end of the next working day to confirm receipt of the letter and details of the occupant. It would be expected that an applicant living at the address stated on an application should reasonably respond to correspondence left within 24 hours. If, following investigation, we are satisfied that, on the balance of probability, the address used on the application is the child’s principal permanent residence, the investigation will be closed and the applicant informed of the decision in writing. We reserve the right to re-open any closed case at any time if new and credible information is received that questions the validity of an address.

6. Fraudulent or Misleading Investigations

6.1. A fraudulent or misleading address is considered to be an address used when applying for a school place which is not the child’s only or principal permanent residence, and is used by a parent/carer solely in order to gain an advantage in accessing a school place for that child. The only or principal permanent residence is considered to be the place where the child resides for the majority of the school week and where the child’s primary guardian, normally a person with parental responsibility, resides.

6.2. There are no set criteria to define or confirm a fraudulent or misleading address. It is for the admission authority to determine if, on the balance of probability, the address given on an application is a child’s principal permanent residence. Some examples of the use of a fraudulent or misleading address are as follows:

  • An applicant applies from an address where the child does not ordinarily reside, for example a relative’s address.
  • A family buys a new property or rents accommodation during the admissions round and uses this address in order to gain a school place, whilst continuing to own or rent an alternative property. In cases such as this, the property which is still owned by the family would be considered as the appropriate address to assess admission from, even if this property is not currently being occupied by the family.
  • A family moves to live with someone else, often a relative/friend/partner, and uses this address in order to gain a school place whilst continuing to own or rent an alternative property.
  • Where parental responsibility is split between two parents living at different addresses and an application is made from the address where the child does not spend the majority of the school week.

6.3. Any individual or organisation may refer the suspected use of a fraudulent or misleading address to ourselves by emailing us at schooladmissions@northyorks.gov.uk with all the relevant information. The identity of any individual who has made a referral will be kept confidential as part of any investigation and will not be divulged to any party being investigated. Anonymous referrals will be reviewed and investigations instigated where appropriate.

6.4. Fraudulent or Misleading Address Decision

If, following investigation, we conclude that, on the balance of probability, a fraudulent or misleading address has been used on an application, a letter will be sent to the applicant confirming this. This letter will state clearly the factors taken into account in order to make the decision as well as the steps that will now be taken with the application, as set out in section 6. It will also set out which address will be treated as the family’s home address for the purpose of their application for admission to school. This letter will give the applicant ten working days to respond and make any final representations. If no further substantial information is received by this time, then our decision will stand.

6.5 Fraudulent or Misleading Address Confirmed

Where a fraudulent or misleading address has been confirmed we may take a variety of steps, depending on the current status of the application. These are set out below.

6.5.1. No school place allocated

If no place has been allocated, the application will be withdrawn and the applicant requested to make a new application from the correct address. If the address we believe to be the child’s principal permanent residence falls outside the council area then the applicant will be directed back to their home authority. The new application will be processed in the same way as any other application received on that date and may be treated as late by the admissions authority.

6.5.2. Place allocated but pupil yet to start

Where a place has been allocated but the pupil has not yet started at the school, we will assess the address to see whether the school place would still have been allocated on the basis of the believed principal permanent residence. If the pupil would have been offered a school place from their principal permanent residence, as determined by ourselves, then the offer will remain and no further action will be taken. If the allocated place would not have been offered if the address we have accepted had been used, the place offered will be withdrawn.

Where the child is determined by ourselves to live within North Yorkshire, a place will be offered at the catchment or nearest school to the home address with a place available. The parent will be able to make a new application from the accepted address; however, the new application will be processed in the same way as any other application received on that date. If the child’s accepted address falls outside North Yorkshire, the school place will be withdrawn and their home authority informed. It will then be up to their home authority to allocate a school place.

Where a school place has been withdrawn the application will be assessed based on the address believed by us to be the child’s principal permanent residence and the child will be placed on the waiting list(s), in the appropriate position, for the schools for which a preference was made. Parents will also have the right to an admission appeal.

6.5.3. Place allocated and pupil has started at the school

If it is believed by the admission authority that, on the balance of probability, a school place was gained using a fraudulent or misleading address and the child has started at the school, but attended for less than one academic term, we reserve the right to withdraw the place offered (in accordance with Section 2.13 of the School Admissions Code 2014).

If the place is withdrawn and the child is determined by ourselves to live within North Yorkshire, an alternative school place will be offered at the catchment or nearest school with an available place to the child’s home address. The applicant may wish to apply for an alternative school. If a place is withdrawn and an alternative place offered, then a child will be expected to leave the school whether or not the alternative place is accepted by the parent/carer. If the alternative school is not accepted it will be the parent/carer’s duty to ensure their child receives full-time education once they leave the school.

Checks may be made to ensure that children of compulsory school age are receiving full-time education. In all cases where it has been deemed that a school place has been gained based on a fraudulent or misleading address and the child continues to attend the school in question, we reserve the right to deny sibling priority to any subsequent children applying for the school.

7. Further Admissions Applications

7.1. Any subsequent application should be made from the family’s principal permanent residence. We will set out which address it expects this to be in the letter sent following an investigation.

8. Right of Appeal

8.1. Applicants do not have the right to appeal against our decision that a fraudulent or misleading address has been used. They will, however, have their statutory right to an admissions appeal if a place is not allocated at a preferred school.

9. Review

This protocol will be reviewed annually and updated as and when required to ensure that it accurately reflects the processes undertaken by ourselves.

This protocol was introduced: August 2019

Reviewed and amended: September 2021

We have a duty to ensure the allocation of school places is carried out in a fair and equitable manner. Whenever a school place is obtained through the use of a fraudulent or intentionally misleading address, another child is deprived of their rightful place, therefore we check carefully to ensure correct addresses are used to prioritise applications. 

Where the local authority has reason to suspect information in support of an application may be fraudulent or intentionally misleading, a range of checks will be undertaken on behalf of the local authority. This may include a visit to the address in question. If an address used to support an application for a community or voluntary controlled school is found to be fraudulent or intentionally misleading, the local authority reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place. In cases where the application is for a foundation, free, trust, voluntary aided or academy school, the local authority will inform the relevant school of its findings. 

Short-term tenancies (of less than 12 months) entered into for the sole purpose of securing a place at a particular school will not qualify as the 'home address' or 'principal permanent residence'. You should be aware it is not usual practice for us to accept a temporary address if you still possess a property which was previously used as your home address.

If you have reason to believe another parent has not provided the correct information on their application form please contact the admissions, transport and welfare benefits team in confidence. Please note that for the purpose of data protection we are unable to share the outcome of individual investigations.

What if my child is arriving in the UK from overseas?

Here are some situations that may apply to you. You may find that more than one is relevant.

Your situation What you should do

You are living in the UK and you come from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Your child has accompanied you. This includes:

  • the children of asylum seekers;
  • parents who have limited leave to enter or remain in the UK; or
  • teachers coming to the UK with their children on a teacher exchange scheme.
You may apply for a school place in the normal way.
You are an EEA citizen. You are coming to the UK lawfully to work or you have the right of abode in the UK.. You may apply for a school place in the normal way.
You are not an EEA citizen but the child satisfies the requirements specified in paragraph 57 of the current immigration rules. You may apply for a school place in the normal way.
You still live overseas at the time of applying for a school place. We can process your application using your overseas address and a place will be allocated if available. Make sure you read our advice about preferencing.
You are returning to an address in North Yorkshire that you lived in immediately prior to going overseas. You may use that address on the application form as long as you provide evidence to prove residency. If this is not possible, you will need to use an overseas address on the form, and notify us as soon as you have moved to the UK and can provide proof of residency.
You are a member of or family member of Armed Forces personnel with a confirmed posting to North Yorkshire, or you are a crown servant returning to live in North Yorkshire.

We will accept the barrack's address prior to the family moving in, as long as the application is accompanied by an official Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office or Government Communication Headquarters letter declaring a relocation date. 

You can find more information about school applications for military families here.