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22nd March 2021

As government appears ready at every opportunity to appropriate the Union flag as its party emblem, and accuse any critics of being unpatriotic, I observe that patriotism isn’t about wrapping yourself in the flag: it involves looking at your country critically, admitting its shortcomings and working to make it a better place for all. As ever, on Voice of the North.

Meanwhile, in the world of education the summer exam fiasco goes from bad to worse: the dog's dinner becomes a car crash. And all because ministers refused to act back in September. Only on Voice of the North.

Also on Voice of the North you can read about the sequel to Song for a Spy (see right). Ballad of Betrayal is now published and available on Amazon

You can also see all my education pieces for Tes on his author page on its website: click here.



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Welcome to the website of

Bernard Trafford

 Writer, musician, educationist

author of Song for a Spy and its sequel

Ballad of Betrayal

 both now published on Amazon,

available in paperback and for instant download on Kindle.

Song for a Spy was reviewed in the Midwest Book Review: "inherently fascinating, historically detailed, exceptionally well written, and engagingly compelling, Song for a Spy is an extraordinary and fully entertaining read from beginning to end".

See Writing page for details. 



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.  

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. Recorded by the girls and men of Ely Cathedral Choir on the 2018 CD An Ely Christmas, it is called it "instantly-memorable", while a review in Cathedral Music Magazine described it as "a jolly and skilful unaccompanied essay in calypso style which succeeds in banishing the ghost of Mathias's familiar version."

As a performer Bernard 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.