The School was founded in 1573, following a request from Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Queen Elizabeth I granted the charter, which is displayed in the entrance hall. For more than 350 years, the School was housed in Tudor Hall on Wood Street. By the late 19th century it outgrew that site and a plot of land was purchased behind the Jesus hospital. In 1930, the School moved to its present site in Queen's Road. There has followed a steady programme of building and refurbishment, including the Fern and Heard Buildings, Martin Swimming Pool and Shearly Hall. Having become a comprehensive during the 1960s, QE reverted to grammar school status in 1994. In 2011, QE became an Academy.