The school was founded in 1841 when Dagenham was just a village surrounded by agricultural land. William Ford, a farmer and member of Dagenham Parish Church, left a legacy on his death to found a school to provide education according to the principles and practice of the Church of England for the girls and boys of the Parish. Later his niece, Sarah Stone, also gave a small endowment towards the Trust Fund.
The school started in a small way, but later land was purchased in Church Elm Lane and a school designed by the architect John Davis Paine, [who also designed the first Waterloo Station] was built. The present building replaces the old Ford Endowed School and is now known as the William Ford C of E Junior School. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Chelmsford on the 18th April, 1975.
The building has been much improved by the recent completion of a Sports and Arts Centre shared with Village Infants.
William Ford C of E Junior School is a Voluntary Aided School, which means that the building, repairs, maintenance and improvements are still the responsibility of the School Governors, maintained from the now much reduced Trust Fund, grant aided by the Department for Education. The internal decoration, furnishings, teaching resources and payment of salaries is maintained by the Local Authority. As a Church of England school, it enjoys the guidance, support and encouragement of the Diocesan Board of Education.
William Ford is a Church of England Junior School and is proud of its links with local churches and Village Infants. William Ford shares the same site as Village Infants and caters for girls and boys in the 7-11 age range.