The school was founded in 1677. The school has occupied its site near the centre of Sandbach since 1851. The site’s original buildings were designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and have since been extended substantially.
The school operated as a charitable boarding and day school until 1955, when its unique legal status was established – it was an independent school, which admitted boys and was comprehensive, but was funded solely by Cheshire LEA and the Learning and Skills Council. It then became the grammar school for boys in south Cheshire. The school began to take pupils of all abilities in 1979. In September 2011, Sandbach became a free school, one of the first to be established in England.
The school is a charity, registered with the charity commission, run by the Sandbach School Property Trust (registered charity number 1124293- 1).
The main block of the school has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. Old boys fought in both world wars; a roll of Honour can be found in the school chapel and the school pavilion is dedicated to the old boys who died during the Great War.