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13th November 2017


My latest Voice of the North blog wonders at the extreme reaction of a newspaper columnist to white poppies appearing at Remembrance. I can't help feeling that seeking to open a debate about peace is better than doing nothing.


This week's Tes blog support's the view of Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman that young children have much to learn from nursery rhymes. Minimal input: fantastic results. What's not to like?. Click here to find the text which will link you to the Tes webpages.

My latest  leadership guidance for SecEd is about CPD and applies to all teachers, not just their leaders. The best teachers are magpies, stealing ideas from other (good!) examples, and adapting them to their needs and classroom: and school leaders can do much to encourage the sharing of best practice.




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Welcome to the website of

Bernard Trafford

MA (Oxon) MEd PhD (Birmingham) FRSA


Writer, educationist, musician


Dr Bernard Trafford 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.

After many years (27) of school headship, he is now exploring both writing and speaking in a variety of new settings and media.


He headed two schools: for nine years at  the Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School and, before that, 18 at Wolverhampton Grammar School. Involved in education on a national scale, from 2007 to 2009 he was Chairman of HMC, the organisation of some 260 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.


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 theatre. 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.