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 11th June 2018


The older I get, the more I am bewildered by the way someone like Trump can claim to be making peace with North Korea - by threatening war! Surely it's just counter-intuitive? My take, on Voice of the North.


Teachers can improve learning in the classroom - with cake. How very English - even in these unpatriotic days. It makes sense, really! Click here to find the text which will link you to the Tes webpages.

My latest blog for SecEd tackles the vexed question of the unrelenting and damaging pressure on the arts in schools (I've been there before). Are we about to see their death?



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Welcome to the website of

Bernard Trafford

MA (Oxon) MEd PhD (Birmingham) FRSA

 Educationist, writer, musician

and author of Song for a Spy,

 a historical adventure story now available for instant download on Kindle

Dr Bernard Trafford was a school head in the independent sector for 27 years (see below), retiring in August 2017. Currently, however (from January 2018), he is  "unretired" for a period, while serving as Interim Head at the Purcell School, the leading specialist music school in Bushey, Herts. 

For nine years (2018-17) Bernard headed the Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School and, before that, spent 27 at Wolverhampton Grammar School, 18 of them as Head. Involved in education on a national scale, from 2007 to 2009 he was Chairman of HMC, the organisation of UK and international British-style independent schools that includes most of the best in the world.  He was involved for many years at Committee level in both HMC and the Association of School and College Leaders, ASCL. He has also advised both the UK government and the Council of Europe on citizenship and student voice. See Biography for more.

Bernard is a prolific blogger and columnist, living (mostly) in Oxford. He is a founder-author of the blog-site Voice of the North while, in the educational sphere, he is in demand as a speaker, consultant/expert and as regular contributor to both the Tes and SecED: see the box to the left for his latest publications and links.


A musician by training, he has never stopped writing, arranging, directing, singing and playing: he has huge experience in the choral sphere and has written/arranged much music for the (school) theatre. He was hugely honoured to have his entry for the 2017 BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Programme's Carol Competition shortlisted by experts and declared winner by public vote. As a performer he loves above all to play the trumpet: orchestral, Baroque (piccolo) and traditional jazz - above all the latter (he'd really like to be a mixture of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke and Charlie Shavers!).

And the rest...

He fails to keep fit by running and loves walking in the hills of Northumberland where he and his wife, Katherine, have a cottage. Their two daughters are both teachers.

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.