New to Independent?

If you are new to independent school, the process can appear a little complicated.

Don't worry, we are here to help; we have broken down the process into five easy steps!

Please note that the formal application process starts approximately 12 months in advance in independent schools, so it's a good idea to enquire early, wherever possible.




There are lots of different ways to gather information about your local independent schools, including Lady Barn:

  • Ask family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours!
  • Research online - visit schools' websites, and governing bodies such as ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate)
  • Check out schools' social media pages to gain a flavour of the day-to-day activities taking place, such as our Instagram page.



  • Submit an initial enquiry; we have a contact form available on our website but you can also contact the Admissions Team directly at, or call us on 0161 359 7241
  • Remember to request a copy of the prospectus as a great reference tool (we'll need your address, please!)
  • Arrange a visit via the contacts above. Lady Barn offers weekday tours during term time and holds regular open events too; we warmly encourage families to visit us.
  • Find out about a school's different entry points and the specific application process and time frame. You will need to provide your child's date of birth so that the Admissions Team can guide you through the relevant process.
  • Ask about financial assistance; at Lady Barn we accept Early Years funding and offer means-tested bursaries and non-means-tested scholarships for some year groups too.


Gather all the information together, and be sure to reach out to the School if any questions remain unanswered!

You might require additional information about timings of the school day and wrap-around and holiday care

You might want a little more information about the journey to Prep 6, such as our section on 11+ Preparation

You might wish to ask about extra-curricular clubs and residentials



Typically, all independent schools request the following, but be sure to adhere to their individual deadlines:

  • An Application Form and Fee, to express your interest in a place; ours is available online and a £50 Application Fee is submitted as part of the form
  • A recent school report, or your consent for the School to contact the current school or Nursery for a reference
  • If a taste-test visit is appropriate, the School will ask for medical and dietary information in advance to ensure that the necessary preparations are made.


The formal offer process usually commences around 12 months in advance of entry for independent schools; at Lady Barn, we start our Nursery offer process 12 months in advance and our Reception process, 11 months in advance. Prep 1 to 6 offers are more fluid and tend to occur year round dependent on place availability.

  • When a place is offered, it then has to be accepted by completing and submitting the Acceptance Documentation and an Acceptance Deposit, usually within a specified time frame. At Lady Barn, our acceptance process is paperless, so all communication is relayed digitally.
  • Upon receipt of the Acceptance Documentation and Deposit, the place is secured. For children joining Lady Barn's Nursery and Reception, we have a Transition Programme in place from January until the start of school in September.