By the eighteenth century, the school had acquired a national reputation as a public school and moved to the present site of Rugby School. As the proportion of pupils from outside Rugby increased and the people of the town seemed to benefit less from Lawrence Sheriff's original bequest, local concern led to the nineteenth century proposal of a Lower School for local boys, with Foundation Scholarships to the Great School. The Lower School was opened in 1878 on the present site of Lawrence Sheriff School with a curriculum designed to meet the needs of a commercial education and preparation for Rugby School. By 1906, a compromise between the traditions of the Foundation and a proposal to hand the school over to the County, led to a Governing body chaired by the Headmaster of Rugby School and containing both Foundation and County Governors.
This partnership continued into voluntary aided staus under the 1944 Act: ;Lawrence Sheriff School is now the selective boys' grammar school for Rugby and the surrounding area, with the buildings owned and maintained by the Governors, and the running costs funded by the local Authority.
Grammar schools were first set up by the 1944 Education Act as part of state funded education for those pupils who passed the selection examination. This exam (the 11+) is taken by year 6 pupils in October every year. Reforms of the education system in the late 1960s meant that most grammar schools and their complementary secondary moderns (for those pupils who did not pass the 11+) disappeared and were replaced by Comprehensive Schools. Only Warwickshire and Kent kept the old selective system. However, some schools in other areas maintained their traditional 'grammar school' title - Lawrence Sheriff School did not!
See Also: Rugby School