Sexey's School is named after Hugh Sexey, the son of poor parents living in the Bruton area. His baptism is recorded in Bruton Parish Church on 18th November 1556. Although he attended Bruton Grammar School, he was apparently largely self-taught and, despite his humble origins rose to an important government position when in 1599 he was appointed as a Royal auditor to Elizabeth I and later James I, becoming a rich man in the process.
After his death in 1619, Sexey's Hospital was established by the trustees of his will, to care for twelve poor, elderly persons, but now caters for 30 independent elderly persons. Later the trustees established a school for children from large and poor local families who were to be apprenticed for 7 years to mechanical trades. They were to be maintained, clothed, educated in the three R's and controlled by a Master. The school, in the Hospital grounds, was to be "as well for girls as boys".
The current school was the inspiration of the Right Honourable Henry Hobhouse, who was the first Chairman of Governors. Hobhouse was a leading national politician who drafted the 1902 Education Act and founded the school in 1889 as a Trade School. The school soon became a boys grammar school and established a reputation for academic excellence which has been its hallmark to the present day. After the 1944 Education Act the school became Voluntary Controlled, reflecting the Anglican character of its foundation, religious education and collective worship at the school being based on Christian values, derived from the Tenets of the Christian Faith.
In 1977 the school decided to return to the original intention of the Founder by accepting girls and, in the first half of the 1980s expanded boarding provision to become one of the largest state boarding schools in the country. At the same time, the Sixth Form expanded as a major provider of post-16 education in South Somerset. In 1991 the school assumed Grant Maintained status and in September 1999 became a Voluntary Aided School. September 2003 marked a total return to Hugh Sexey's original concept when children from Bruton were once again able to attend their local secondary school on a daily basis.