A SECONDARY school in Reading will have a new headmaster next year, governors have announced.

Mr Peter Thomas will take over the role of headmaster at Reading Blue Coat School from September 1, 2020.

Mr Thomas was chosen amongst dozens of applicants for the post, in what was described by the recruitment consultant Odgers Berndtson as one of the strongest fields they had seen, in any school, for some years.

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In making this appointment, the Governors were looking for someone to continue to build on the success that the school has enjoyed, with the ability to take the school forward into its next chapter.

Mr Thomas said: “It is a tremendous honour to have been asked to be Blue Coat’s next Headmaster and I am delighted to have the opportunity of leading this wonderful school.

"Struck from the outset by the great warmth of both staff and pupils, Blue Coat’s sense of community, coupled with its desire to keep moving forward, will ensure an exciting journey lies ahead."

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Graduating in Geological Sciences from the University of Durham, Mr Thomas began his career as a police officer, before moving into teaching Geography at The Judd School in Kent.

In 2003, he joined Dauntsey’s School as a Geography teacher and was quickly appointed as a day housemaster, before subsequently running a boys’ boarding house.

Fully involved in rugby, football and cricket coaching, Mr Thomas was also Master-in-Charge of the Devizes to Westminster canoe race, known as the ‘Canoeists’ Everest’, which he has completed twice.

In his time at Blue Coat, Mr Thomas has been responsible for the day-to-day running of the school, having a significant impact on all areas of school life.