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24th September 2018


My latest blog for Voice of the North tangles with reality: how real is real? Certainly reality TV seems to have little to do with everyday reality: but then, if it did, it wouldn't work. Point is, the trouble with reality is that it just isn't real enough.


Kids need much more than just exams to prepare them for academic life. Baroness Brady reckons they should do sport, volunteering AND get a part-time job. But can and should we force  young people to volunteer? I don\'t think so. Click here to find the text which will link you to the Tes webpages.

SecEd publishes its June 2018 NQT supplement: and my contribution to new teachers is advice on taking stock, planning ahead and making sure that next year brings a positive career step forward.



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Search bernardtrafford.com

Welcome to the website of

Bernard Trafford

 Writer, musician, educationist

and author of Song for a Spy,

 a historical adventure novel available for instant download or in paperback via Amazon



Dr Bernard Trafford has been writing widely and frequently for three decades, penning first song lyrics, then serious educational articles and books before moving into journalism. For several years he contributed a popular weekly opinion column to Newcastle's regional daily paper, The Journal, subsequently working with former Journal columnists to set up  the blog-site Voice of the North.  

His debut novel, Song for a Spy, is now available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback.

Bernard writes weekly educational blogs for the Tes and occasional advice-pieces for SecEd: see the box to the left for links to his latest online pieces, and Writing for further detail. 



A musician by training, he has never stopped writing, arranging, directing, singing and playing. His entry for the 2017 BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Programme's Carol Competition, a setting for SATB of the medieval text Sir Christëmas, was shortlisted by experts, declared winner by public vote and is published by Banks Music Publications. As a performer he loves to sing and, still more, to play the trumpet: orchestral, Baroque and traditional jazz. See Music



Bernard was a school principal in the private sector for some 28 years, heading three major schools and finally retiring in August 2018.  Involved for many years in education on a national scale, he is a former Chair of HMC, the organisation of UK and international British-style independent schools that includes most of the best in the world. He was part of a professional team of volunteers who successfully opened a Free School in the deprived west end of Newcastle in 2015: the West Newcastle Academy is now thriving in splendid purpose-built accommodation in Benwell. 

Bernard's PhD thesis linking democratic and participative leadership to school improvement won Birmingham University's 1996 George Cadbury Prize and led to advisory work with both the UK government and the Council of Europe. See Biography.




There's a considerable amount of material on the inner pages so, if you cannot immediately find some area of Bernard's work that you were expecting to see, please use the search facility, left.