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 15th July 2018


The Telegraph reckons that hiking (not mere walking) is the "new peak of chic": but you have to have the right designer gear. How does that tally with the experience of us old gits plodding among the Cheviots? I find out for Voice of the North


Are Ofsted and the DfE really on the point of falling out about the importance of exam grades? And what does that mean for schools and pupils? 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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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 novel available for instant download or in paperback via Amazon

Dr Bernard Trafford was a school head in the independent sector for some 28 years (see below), finally retiring in August 2018. 

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. 2018 has seen him serving for eight months as Interim Head of the Purcell School, the leading specialist music school in Bushey, Herts. 

Involved in education on a national scale, from 2007 to 2009 Bernard 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: his setting for SATB of the medieval text Sir Christëmas 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 - 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.