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Peterhouse Boys

Rector's Profile

Howard Blackett has been Rector of Peterhouse since January 2013.

Prior to his appointment to Peterhouse Howard worked in the UK at The Royal Hospital School in Suffolk (Headmaster 2004 – 2012), Dover College in Kent (Headmaster 1997 – 2004), Ardingly College in West Sussex, Marlborough College in Wiltshire and St. Edward’s School, Oxford. He was a Junior Master at Ruzawi School in 1979. Immediately post university, Howard was a Seaman Officer in the Royal Navy serving in the assault ship HMS Fearless and the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious.

Howard was educated at the choir school in Chichester, St Edward’s School, Oxford, and Christ Church, Oxford. Whilst at Oxford he played both hockey (Blues in 1981 and 1982) and rugby for the university; he also played ‘cello in the University Philharmonic Orchestra and sang with the Exeter College choir and Schola Cantorum. He gained an MBA in Educational Leadership in 2004.

Howard has served on the executive committees of the Headmaster’s and Headmistresses Conference (HMC) and the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA). He was a member of the HMC Sports’ Sub Committee for nearly a decade and represented HMC on the England Rugby Football Schools’ Union (ERFSU). He is currently chairman of the Zimbabwe Schoolboys’ Hockey Association (ZSHA) and a governor at Bernard Mizeki College.

Howard is married to Susie (an ex first class hockey player and very keen sports’ woman) and has three children; Thomas (a graduate of Edinburgh University) and Alice (a graduate of the Oxford Media and Business School) both of whom are working in London and Lizzy (a graduate Royal Holloway College, London University) who is employed as an English teacher at Bradfield College, on independent boarding school near reading. Ruby the Cocker Spaniel and Bertie the cat complete the family.

Sport and music remain Howard’s lifelong interests and, no doubt as a throw back to his time as a cathedral chorister he has a passion for Victorian church music and to his study of geography an equally quirky passion for chalk down lands!


At the end of 2019 Howard will step down as Rector of Peterhouse and will be replaced by Jon Trafford. Jon Trafford will be well known to many Petreans and parents. He started his teaching career at Peterhouse in 1985 and left in 1991 as a much respected member of staff and housemaster. He joined the staff of the International School of South Africa, Mafikeng and was a housemaster there. In 1996 Jon moved to Michaelhouse as a teacher/housemaster before moving to assume the role of founding Head at Chesterhouse in Durbanville in the Western Cape. In 2008 Jon joined the staff of Kingswood in Grahamstown as Senior School Head, going on to become College Head and eventually Executive Head of The College Foundation. Jon has achieved high levels of professional development in Southern Africa and further afield and maintained close links with and senior roles in SAHISA and ISASA.

We look forward to welcoming Jon, Gwyneth and their three daughters to the Peterhouse community in the New Year.