Since the earliest days of its choral foundation, which can be traced back as far as the early 14th century, the Cathedral has made provision for the appointment and education of boy choristers. During the early 20th century, the choristers were housed and educated in Dam Street, just outside the Cathedral Close. However, during the Second World War, a courageous decision was taken by the Dean and Chapter to establish a new School within the Cathedral Close. St Chad's Cathedral School, as this independent preparatory school for boys was known, was opened on the 27th January 1942.
For the first 10 years the boys were housed and taught in School House, but such was the expansion of the School that the offer of the Bishop's Palace in 1953 was eagerly accepted. Girls were admitted to the School for the first time in 1974, and a Pre-Preparatory Department was established in St Mary's School on the far side of Minster Pool in 1982. By 1988 the Pre-Prep had grown so much in size that it was in need of its own premises. This was provided for by the generous benefaction of former teacher Arthur Broadhurst.
Meanwhile, in 1981, the School became a financially independent Charitable Trust and took on its new name, Lichfield Cathedral School. The Dean and Chapter remained in the majority on the Governing Body, of which the Dean is "ex officio" Chairman, but in 2000 the number of governors was increased to allow for a total of 15, two-thirds of whom are lay members.
In September 2003, the School expanded into an annexe in Bird Street, and opened a new Nursery Class in the Palace Cottage. Furthermore, in response to popular demand, the Governors took the decision in September 2004 to extend into secondary education and two Year 7 classes began their route to GCSEs in September 2005.
The School acquired St. John's Preparatory School in Longdon Greenin 2006, and the two schools amalgamated. The Pre-Prep (Junior School, aged 3 - 8) is now situated on the Longdon site, and the vacated space in the Close has been adapted for older year groups and specialist teaching.
The School still serves its primary purpose of housing and educating the Cathedral choristers; but since 1942 it has grown from a roll of 19 boys to a pupil membership in September 2009 of about 420 boys and girls aged 3-16.
This is a truly exciting time to be a member of the Cathedral School, but it is more than that. This is a significant moment in the school's history. Based on the school's already substantial reputation, the launch of the Sixth Form in September 2010 enabled the School to realise its full potential as a School that aims to produce confident and articulate young leaders who are equipped for life in higher education, employment and the wider community.