In 1553, shortly before Edward VI died, it was founded in response to a sermon from Nicholas Ridley. Originally in the City of London, the girls school later moved to Hertford. The boys' school moved to the present location in 1902 with the girls' school re-unifying in 1985.
Unusually for an independent school in England, fees (tuition and board) are paid on a means-tested basis, with many pupils paying no fees at all.
Former pupils include: