A leading independent day school for boys & girls age 3-18

Choir School to Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral

A member of The Society of Heads: accredited by the Independent Schools Council (ISC)


St John's College is an entirely independent Charitable Trust set up for the purposes of providing high-quality independent education for girls and boys from age 3 -18. The school is Catholic; this is its primary religious allegiance and affiliation.

The Archbishop of Cardiff is its Patron, the Dean of the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Parish Priest are regular visitors, and there is a formal link with the Cathedral Choral Foundation in the provision of choristers and music staff for the Cathedral Choir. However, St John's College is not funded by the Church, nor by public funds. School fee income from parents provides the sole funding for running the school.

As a Registered Charity, the school is obliged to have a Board of Trustees; furthermore, as a Company Limited by Guarantee (the legal entity by which the school operates, on a not-for-profit basis) a Board of non-remunerated Directors is required. These individuals hold legal and financial responsibility for the school. These dual onerous responsibilities are currently undertaken by members of the Board of Trustees, all of whom now have, or have in the recent past had children as pupils in the school.

The current Board of Trustees includes two senior partner Solicitors and a Company Director. All pay full school fees for their children and receive no remuneration in any form.

Chair of Trustees:

Mrs Jayne Smerald

St John's College
College Green
William Nicholls Drive
Old St Mellons

Dr David Neville
Founding Principal of St John's College

The late Dr David Neville was educated at the former Cardiff boys' Catholic grammar school St Illtyd's College, and was then awarded degrees by the University of Bristol and Cambridge University where he studied at Pembroke College, founded in 1347. He received an award from Pembroke College and a choral award from Jesus College.

He served for fourteen years as Head of Chemistry, Head of Science, Deputy Head 2 and Deputy Head 1 level in four large 11-18 maintained high schools in Cardiff, Mid-Glamorgan and Gwent. In 1987 he was appointed Head to regenerate the closed De La Salle independent school (3-11) and to create St John's College from a pupil base of 85 pupils in a seven room single-storey building to the current vibrant institution of 500 pupils age 3 - 18 in its new setting, a listed nineteenth-century building and superb modern facilities. St John's College has consistently held leading positions in examination league tables published by the national press, both at GCSE and especially at A level. University admission achievements have been particularly distinguished.

In addition to his career in the state-funded and independent sector, he held the honorary position as Director of Music and Organist at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David in the centre of the City of Cardiff for thirty-five years. He received both the Papal Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Archbishop of Wales Award for Church Music.

David's wife, Diana, is a soprano and directs senior music at the school. Their sons were educated from primary to sixth form level at St John's College which, as with other members of the sixth form, prepared all three to gain first and higher degrees at Oxford or Cambridge universities.

David Neville was a Knight of the Order of St Gregory (Papal Knighthood) and was a full member of:

The Society of Heads of Independent Schools (formerly SHMIS)  - ISC accreditation
The Welsh Independent Schools Council (Director)
The Catholic Independent Schools Conference
The Choir Schools Heads Association
The Secondary Heads Association ASCL
The Cathedral Organists Association
The Royal College of Organists
The Metropolitan Cathedral Council
The Pembroke College Cambridge Society  (Life Member)
The University of Cambridge Alumni Society (Life Member)
The University of Bristol Alumni Society (Life Member)
The Royal Society for Chemistry
The Royal Society of Arts
The Archbishop of Wales Award for Church Music Committee
The Archdiocese of Cardiff Liturgy Commission