A FORMER professional musician who played in West End shows has been named as the new head of Dean Close St John’s School in Tutshill.

Tom Rainer, who will start the role in September, “brings a wealth of experience and a passion for education that will enrich the preparatory school's community and advance its in educational mission,” said a spokesman for the preparatory school..

Mr Rainer started his career as a professional musician, playing the trumpet in numerous concert venues and the West End.

He served as director of music in two preparatory schools before assuming senior positions, including assistant head roles at Aldro Preparatory School near Godalming in Surrey and at Pilgrims' School in Winchester in Dorset, where he is currently deputy head pastoral and head of boarding.

Mr Rainer is a keen sportsman who runs ultra marathons for charity and he loves football.

A spokesman for the school said: “The appointment panel at Dean Close St John’s was highly impressed by Mr Rainer's extensive experience, educational and business qualifications, and his alignment with the Dean Close values and aims.

“His clear enthusiasm for preparatory school education and his determination to nurture the potential of every student were key factors in his selection.”

Speaking about his appointment, Mr Rainer expressed his excitement at joining the Dean Close St John’s community and to contribute to its continued success.

He emphasised his dedication to fostering a supportive learning environment where every student can thrive and reach their full potential. He also expressed his delight to move to Chepstow, close to his original home in Pontypridd.

Mr Rainer takes over the role of headmaster from Nick Thrower who has led the school since 2020.

The school was formerly known as St John's on the Hill and celebrated its centenary last year and was taken over Cheltenham-based Dean Close in 2015.

St John’s caters for children aged three to 13 with a kindergarten for three-to-four-year-olds, pre-prep from four to seven years of age and the main prep school for children aged between seven and 13. Many then go onto Dean Close in Cheltenham