The first school in the village, run by the Church of England, was established in 1771 on Church Street (Tamworth Road), where the old rectory car park now stands. In 1859 it was replaced by a purpose-built school building on Cross Street, known as the Sawley National School, and this school continued in use the 1960s. The buildings have now been converted into a car showroom. Meanwhile, in 1843 the Baptists established their own school on Back Street.
Sawley children now attend the modern infant and junior schools behind the Memorial Hall on Draycott Road.
For 100 years, from 1907 to 2007, New Sawley children went to Mikado Road School, later called Lakeside School, for their primary education. They went to Brooklands School in Long Eaton. This opened in 1893 as Sawley Road Board School. From 1902 (when the county council assumed responsibility) it became the Sawley Road Council (Elementary) School. It kept this name even though Sawley Road was renamed Tamworth Road in 1921. From 1935 (when the road through Sawley also became Tamworth Road) it became Brooklands School.
In the 1920/30s around 30 children from Sawley and Long Eaton attended Miss Wright’s private school in Roosevelt Avenue (about halfway down on the right).
 The building became the village institute until removed in the late 1920s.