Guide to starting school or moving up to junior school

Last updated: 20 October 2022

What to do if you're moving to a new house

It is important that we know where your child lives: your address tells us if your child lives in a school’s catchment area, and how far away they live from the school. If you move to a different address, you must provide us with evidence before we can use the new address for your child’s application.

The deadline for you to send us evidence of a new address, for it to be used for the first round of allocations (National Offer Day, 17 April), is 31 January 2023. If you have moved to this address after 4 November 2022 you will need to provide evidence to confirm your move and that you are living in your new home before we will accept your new address.

If you move later, we still need to see evidence of your move. We will take your child’s new address into account in a later allocation round, if you send us the evidence by the appropriate deadline and we agree to accept the new address.

Who to apply to if you're moving house

Each family should submit a single primary school application for their child, to their home Local Authority. Apply to Buckinghamshire Council if you will be living in Buckinghamshire on or before 15 January.

If you will be moving to Buckinghamshire after this date, submit your child’s application to the Local Authority where you live at the moment. You will be able to include your preferred Buckinghamshire schools, and your Local Authority will share that information with us. Send us the evidence of your new address so that it can be used for a later allocation round.

If you are moving out of Buckinghamshire after 15 January, submit your child’s application to Buckinghamshire Council: you will be able to include schools in other areas.

If you live overseas but will be moving to Buckinghamshire before your child starts primary school, submit your child’s application to Buckinghamshire Council. Make sure you apply with your overseas address and send us evidence of your move when you have it. We can only use your Buckinghamshire address when you are physically resident and have provided the evidence we need.

Overseas nationals (including those from the EU) who want to apply for a state-funded school need to check that they have a right to live in the UK or check that the conditions of their visas allow them to access schooling. You may need to apply for a certificate of entitlement. Having a right of abode means you are allowed to live in the U.K. without any immigration restrictions.

Evidence

We need to be sure that you and your child live in your new address, and that you cannot move back to another property.

Evidence that you have a new address can include:

  • a solicitor’s letter showing the date that your purchase was completed, or;
  • an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement that is signed by both landlord and tenant (the tenancy should be for a minimum of 12 months), or;
  • If you have moved back into a property you already own, you should send us proof of this, such as Land Registry.

Evidence that you cannot move back to another property can include:

  • a solicitor’s letter confirming that a property sale has completed;
  • a check-out report from a rented property, to show the date you handed in the keys;
  • a letter or email from the landlord/letting agent of a rented property, showing the date you moved out;
  • a final closing energy bill/statement;
  • if you still own your previous property but have let it to tenants, send us a copy of the tenancy agreement (this must be for at least 12 months). You must also send us as a letter from your mortgage company that confirms they know about the arrangement.

You also need to send us a copy of an electricity bill showing levels of energy usage and two further documents from the following list, showing your new address:

  • a copy of your updated driving licence
  • a GP letter showing you have registered your child at a local surgery
  • confirmation of your home contents insurance or car insurance
  • official correspondence from the Department for Work and Pensions, or HM Revenue & Customs (dated within the last 3 months)
  • bank or building society statement (dated within the last 3 months)
  • vehicle Registration Document (V5C) showing your name and address
  • mortgage or financial statement

Evidence if your child is moving from one parent to live with another

We will need to see evidence of this arrangement. If your child goes a Buckinghamshire primary school we may check if they are aware.

Please provide:

  • written confirmation from both parents of the arrangements
  • a copy of the most recent gas/electricity bill from the parent that the child is going to live with.
  • proof that Child Benefit is paid to the parent that the child is going to live with
  • if Child Benefit is not received, a letter from your child’s GP showing the address they have for your child on their records

Evidence if you are an Armed Forces or Crown Servant family

If you are an Armed Forces/Crown Servant family and you are being posted to the area, we will be able to use your posting address for your child’s application, even if you do not live there yet. Please send us an official letter showing the relocation date and address.

If you have not yet been given a particular address, we may be able to use a Unit postal address or quartering area address.

If you are a service family moving to a property you already own, you will need to send us evidence of your posting to the area. You will also need to send evidence to show you own the property.

It is your responsibility to make sure we know you are an Armed Forces or Crown Servant family and to send evidence. If you do this by 29 January 2023, your address will be used for the main allocation on National Offer Day (1 March).

We reserve the right to ask for further evidence if we have any doubts.

If your change of address cannot be supported by the evidence above, please contact us for advice.

Fraudulent addresses or false information

Some families will try to use false or misleading information to secure their child a place at a particular school. This is completely unacceptable and can mean that a local child with a genuine claim cannot have a place.

We may ask for proof of your address at any time during the application process, even after a school has been offered or accepted. If we find that a fraudulent address has been used, we will not hesitate to withdraw a place, even if the child has already started at the school. We may also withdraw a place if information has been deliberately withheld.

If a school place was allocated to an older child on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information, we will not consider an application under the sibling rule for any younger sibling from that family.

Examples of fraudulent/misleading information may include (but is not limited to):

  • an application made using an address where the child does not normally live (for example a relative’s address)
  • a family temporarily renting a property (or living with friends or relatives) in order to gain a school place, whilst still owning an alternative property
  • where a child lives between two addresses (for example between parents who do not live together), an application made using the address of the parent that the child does not live with for the majority of the school week, or when an application is made without consent of all carers with Parental Responsibility.

Buckinghamshire Council treats any allegations of this nature very seriously. If you suspect an address is being used fraudulently, please contact us with the details so that we can investigate. You do not have to give your name.