Established in 1992 under the CTC programme, the school is funded by the British Government with support from the British Record Industry Trust and maintains an independent school status from the local education authority. The school is remarkable as being one of only three performing arts and technology schools in the country that are free to attend, the others being both in the West Midlands: Walsall Studio School and Birmingham Ormiston Academy.
Mark Featherstone-Witty had been inspired by Alan Parker's 1980s film Fame to create a secondary school specialising in the performing arts. By the time he started trying to raise money through the School for Performing Arts Trust (SPA), he had refined a novel integrated curriculum. He approached Sir Richard Branson to be the project champion who agreed, on the condition that other record companies chipped in. As it happened, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) were concerned with home taping and realised they had no political influence to bring the necessary pressure to bear. The then Conservative government needed to give impetus to their flagging City Technology College scheme.
Over 20 years, the BRIT School has been the beneficiary of more than £7 million from the British record industry, with a substantial annual contribution from the proceeds of the Brit Awards, administered via the record industry’s charity, the BRIT Trust.
The school's former principal Sir Nick Williams was knighted in the New Years Honours List 2013 from services to education.
The school was founded in 1991 under the auspices of the City Technology Colleges (CTC) initiative with sponsorship from the British Record Industry Trust (BRIT). Each year the BRIT Awards Music Ceremony raises money, some of which is used to help the continuing sponsorship of the school along with other music charities.