Since I started teaching (1985) I have written on aspects of English teaching for the Times Education Supplement. I now write on a broader range of issues for a wider range of publications, including school leadership, educational policy and behaviour management. Most weeks I also post thoughts, reflections and rants on my blog. These are mostly aimed at fellow teachers and students.

An attempt at an archive of published articles, including my monthly TES column, can be found here.

I've written academic pieces for journals like English in Education and The Use of English.

Increasingly I write for other publications too on various topics. Back in 1995 I won the arts critic category of the Independent on Sunday's "New Writers" contest with a cheap swipe at Delia Smith which won me a fax machine. St Delia: I ask your forgiveness. I wrote a piece about radio djs for The Independent, and I have also written about whole-school literacy for the The Guardian.

You can see all of these in the Features section.

The Barton Writing Archive ...

  • My articles from the past three years are collected here
  • To see a range of my articles on English, literacy and grammar, see here
  • To see my articles on becoming a headteacher for the now defunct Managing Schools Today, see here
  • To see more general 'features' writing, see here
  • To see some of the reviews I have written, again mostly for the TES, see here
  • To see samples of the range of articles I have written, see here
  • 2015

  • 'Ofsted: When the Disappeared wrote back': My TES blog (8 June 2015)
  • 'Coasting Schools strategy will make things worse': My EADT column (20 May 2015)
  • 'A rich seedbed for great thinkers': My Bury Free Press column (17 May 2015)
  • 'Let's reclaim state education': My TES blog (1 May 2015)
  • 'This is a story about Ofsted': My TES blog (27 April 2015)
  • 'Trust teachers to focus on teaching': My Bury Free Press column (17 April 2015)
  • 'Politicians need to be optimistic for the future of schools': My East Anglian Daily Times column (15 April 2015)
  • 'I'm searching for another word': My Bury Free Press column (27 March 2015)
  • 'The Barton Crematorium': My EADT column on free schools (19 March 2015)
  • 'The Ins & Outs of Selective Schools': My chapter in the Civitas book (Page 290ff, March 2015)
  • 'Free schools are a vanity project': My TES blog (9 March 2015)
  • 'Lets question the role of education ministers': My EADT article (23 February 2015)
  • 'Learning lessons from days gone by': My Bury Free Press article (22 February 2015)
  • 'We need to make sure it's the experts - teachers - who claim their college': My TES blog (4 February 2015)
  • 'Why democracy matters in schools': My Bury Free Press column (16 January 2015)
  • 'Can a book really be as exciting as an iPad?': My EADT column (21 January 2015)
  • 'Could we please have an end to scatter-gun reforms in 2015': My TES blog (5 January 2015)


  • 'Why I'll be checking my emails this Christmas': My TES blog (23 December 2014)
  • 'The hope of Christmas needs to shine a little brighter': My Bury Free Press column (21 December 2014)
  • 'Schools are full of joy at Christmas': My East Anglian Daily Times column (18 December 2014)
  • On 'Wilshaw's pessimism': My TES blog (11 December 2014)
  • 'A ritual born out of controversy': My Bury Free Press column (22 November 2014)
  • 'The scapegoating of school leaders': My East Anglian Daily Times column (20 November 2014)
  • 'My Manifesto': My TES column (31 October 2014)
  • 'Celebrating a Bigger Partnership' My Bury Free column (17 October 2014)
  • 'Sir Michael is too quick to criticise': My Bury Free Press column (22 September, 2014)
  • 'The French have a term for it': My National Education Trust blog on the new school year (1 September, 2014)
  • 'Keep your cool during difficult conversations': My TES article for the 'Leadership' section (15 August, 2014)
  • 'Id be surprised if there were no surprises': My TES blog on A-level results (14 August, 2014)
  • 'We're now in the post-Gove era': My Bury Free Press column (18 July, 2014)
  • 'Going back to my roots': My EADT column (16 July, 2014)
  • 'Gove, the great reformer, mistook change for improvement' My TES blog (15 July, 2014)
  • 'Is it fair to fine parents for taking children out of school?': EADT debate (25 June, 2014)
  • 'We don't have a river for rowing': a comment on the caricaturing of state school sport My TES blog (23 June, 2014)
  • 'So what is Britishness?': My Bury Free Press column (20 June, 2014)
  • 'Gove & the Trojan Horse': My EADT column (18 June, 2014)
  • 'Ofqual whistle-blowing?: we owe it to our students to do so.'' My TES piece on Ofqual's call for evidence over unfair practice (6 June, 2014)
  • 'The Rules of Rejection' My TES piece on debriefing unsuccessful interview candidates (16 May, 2014)
  • 'The Power of Words' My Bury Free Press column on vocabulary (16 May, 2014)
  • 'Doing God' My EADT column on religion and atheism (May, 2014)
  • 'It's a very special anniversary' My Bury Free Press column on Shakespeare (18 April, 2014)
  • 'Is behaviour in schools really getting worse?' My EADT column on behaviour (16 April, 2014)
  • 'Could this please be the last bit of radical reform to qualifications just for a decade or so?' My TES blog on GCSE reform (4 April, 2014)
  • 'Gove's magic deserts him' My TES blog on the ASCL keynotes (21 March, 2014)
  • 'Day in, day out, were doing our best:' My Bury Free Press column (21 March, 2014)
  • 'On the Policy Exchange Proposal for Ofsted' My East Anglian column (19 March, 2014)
  • 'School is about more than exams' My Bury Free Press column (21 February 2014)
  • 'Should schools have a longer school day?' My EADT debate article (19 February 2014)
  • 'Giving Ofsted a dressing down' My EADT column (19 February 2014)
  • 'Seldon's proposal reinforces a myth' My TES blog (21 January 2014)
  • 'Our War Heroes Deserve Better' My Bury Free Press column (17 January 2014)
  • 'Tortoise out of the Box' My EADT column (15 January 2014)
  • 'New Year Philistinism' My TES New Year Blog (3 January 2014)


  • 'Suffolk Mission' My Bury Free Press column (20 December 2013)
  • 'Ofsted Cheer' My EADT column (18 December 2013)
  • 'On not being top of the PISA pops' Guardian article (3 December 2013)
  • 'There are inspectors and inspectors' East Anglian Daily Times article (20 November 2013)
  • 'The Shyness of Teachers' Bury Free Press article (15 November 2013)
  • 'What I'd really welcome at GCSE' TES blog (1 November 2013)
  • 'Take Note of our Great Schools' My Bury Free Press column (18 October 2013)
  • 'A Matter of Life or Death' My TES review of 'I Am Malala' (18 October 2013)
  • 'Leo Remembered' My EADT column (16 October 2013)
  • 'The Magic of Suffolk' My Bury Free Press column (20 September 2013)
  • 'I'll let you in on a secret' TES column (13 September 2013)
  • 'Bringing the world into your school' Article for TES Leadership (30 August 2013)
  • 'View from the Top: Richard Parker's 'The Reality of School Leadership' My review for the TES (23 August 2013)
  • 'A-levels 2013': My column for the Bury Free Press (16 August 2013)
  • 'Englishness': My column for the East Anglian Daily Times (16 August 2013)
  • 'A-level blog': My blog for the TES (15 August 2013)
  • 'Summer Heat': My column for the Bury Free Press (19 July 2013)
  • 'Teaching Matters': My column for the East Anglian Daily Times (17 July 2013)
  • 'Don't believe the curriculum hype' Article for The Guardian (8 July 2013)
  • 'Payment by Numbers' My latest column (Bury Free Press) (29 June 2013)
  • 'Supporting staff through trying times': TES Leadership column (TES) (21 June 2013)
  • 'Toys out of the Pram': East Anglian Daily Times column (TES) (19 June 2013)
  • 'What makes a good teacher?': TES column (TES) (11 June 2013)
  • 'Testing Times for Grammar': My latest column for the Bury Free Press (BFP) (17 May 2013)
  • 'Knowing Stuff': My latest column for the EADT (EADT) (15 May 2013)
  • 'Withitness' is all you need: My latest column (TES) (3 May 2013)
  • TES Leadership: 'Take charge in your first few weeks': My column (TES) (3 May 2013)
  • 'Saluting Edmund Coote': My latest column (East Anglian Daily Times) (20 March 2013)
  • 'On Character': My latest column (Bury Free Press) (15 March 2013)
  • 'Ofsted - who do you think you are?': My latest column (TES) (22 February 2013)
  • 'Role-Models': My latest column (East Anglian Daily Times) (20 February 2013)
  • 'Reading is for everyone': My article for World Book Day (TES) (15 February 2013)
  • 'In Praise of Roy Samson': My latest column (Bury Free Press) (18 January 2013)
  • 'A Monster is Hatched': My latest column (East Anglian Daily Times) (16 January 2013)
  • 'This Too Shall Pass': New year blog (National Education Trust) (January 2013)

    Pieces for Managing Schools Today and the Teachit website are starting to be included on the Features page.

    Barton on grammar ...

    For three years Professor Dick Hudson and I wrote a weekly "Writer's Toolkit". Here's a selection. For the most up-to-date collection of these articles (grouped by publication date), see his website

    Writer's Toolkit articles (with Dick Hudson):