Bernard's Biography

Dr Bernard Trafford is a hugely experienced independent school head who thought he had retired in August 2017. However, from January 2018 he is spending a period as Interim Head of the Purcell School, the specialist music school in Bushey, Herts.

IBernard was  Headmaster of the Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School from 2008-17. He was previously head of Wolverhampton Grammar School (1990-2008). He was educated at Downside School in Somerset and then read music at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he was Organ Scholar. He started teaching music at High Wycombe's Royal Grammar School, and moved to become head of department at Wolverhampton Grammar School in 1981, having just married his wife, Katherine. In 1987 he became head of sixth form at WGS and, in 1990, became the school's Head.

He was 2007-9 Chairman of HMC, the organisation of some 300 UK and international British-style independent schools that includes most of the best in the world. He was an elected independent schools representative on the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) 1995-2006, chairing variously its Equal Opportunities and Publications committees. Over the years he has served as a trustee (and, in some cases, as Chair) of various educational and/or musical charities including SCHOOLS NorthEast, School Councils UK*, SingUK* (previously YoungChoirs/the British Federation of Young Choirs) and the National Schools' Symphony Orchestra (NSSO). He remains a Leading Thinker for the National Education Trust. (*charities no longer operating)

Bernard is a prolific blogger and columnist, now 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. He has published books and articles on school democracy and Student Voice and has advised both the UK government and the Council of Europe on education for democratic citizenship. For seven years he was a regular columnist for Newcastle's local paper, The Journal. See the Writing page.

Bernard started his career as a musician and still loves to write, direct, sing and play the trumpet: orchestral/Classical, Baroque (piccolo) and  jazz. See Music.

Bernard and (where present) his wife, Katherine

(His Dad's in one, too)

(The elephant's name is Nao)