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Geoff Barton

I take pride in the future and past

01 April 2017
I take pride in the future and past

I take pride in the future and past

01 April 2017

Some people must assume it was a conspiracy. Education was on the front page of the Bury Free Press again last week. And there, to illustrate the story, was a picture of me. No wonder one of our new Year 7 students said to me recently: “My mum calls it the Barton Free Press.”


John’s legacy won’t be forgotten

22 January 2017
John’s legacy won’t be forgotten

John’s legacy won’t be forgotten

22 January 2017

When 2016 finally hauled itself across the finishing line of New Year’s Eve, many people said good riddance to a bad year.


My simple wish for hope at Christmas

17 December 2016
My simple wish for hope at Christmas

My simple wish for hope at Christmas

17 December 2016

It’s funny – or rather not at all funny – how we change as we get older.


Seeing through the prevailing gloom

19 November 2016
Seeing through the prevailing gloom

Seeing through the prevailing gloom

19 November 2016

Back in that long hot summer of 1976, a young musician released an album of songs that would enter the bloodstream of the western world.


A culture of unstoppable aspiration

24 October 2016
A culture of unstoppable aspiration

A culture of unstoppable aspiration

24 October 2016

I am writing this in an office in a school at the heart of one the world’s most successful cities. It is also one of the richest. I am in Shanghai.


My simple advice? Let’s just say no

17 September 2016
My simple advice? Let’s just say no

My simple advice? Let’s just say no

17 September 2016

When Theresa May stood in Downing Street, looking the nation firmly in the eye, and proclaimed that she would “make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us”, she seemed to tap into a nation’s craving for unity.


End of an era heralds a new age

17 July 2016
End of an era heralds a new age

End of an era heralds a new age

17 July 2016

The end of any school year is always emotional. Teaching is a surprising roller-coaster of human interactions – full of laughter, occasional panic and a linger feeling of never quite having caught up with all the jobs on the to-do list.


The heroes going out in style

19 June 2016
The heroes going out in style

The heroes going out in style

19 June 2016

This is a tribute to some of our local heroes. They won’t necessarily see themselves as heroes but, come late July, I hope they will.


No blue sky thinking required on this

21 May 2016
No blue sky thinking required on this

No blue sky thinking required on this

21 May 2016

Sometimes it seems as if the seasons are going haywire. Three weeks ago there was snow in Yorkshire. A week later it was hotter in Harrogate than Lanzarotte.


Forced academisation? I don’t think so

17 April 2016
Forced academisation? I don’t think so

Forced academisation? I don’t think so

17 April 2016

In general, most of us probably feel that democracy is a good thing – better at least than anarchy, fascism, dictatorship and the many shades of totalitarianism on display around the world. Yes, we would take democracy over those any day.


Preparing citizens of the future

20 March 2016
Preparing citizens of the future

Preparing citizens of the future

20 March 2016

As the novelist LP Hartley taught us, ‘The past is another country: they do things differently there’.


2016 promises to be momentous

17 January 2016
2016 promises to be momentous

2016 promises to be momentous

17 January 2016

Whatever the swirling gloom in so many of the news stories we read – terrorism, floods, political turmoil – 2016 looks set to be a year of excitement and optimism in our part of the world.


Students need to see our anger and love

22 November 2015
Students need to see our anger and love

Students need to see our anger and love

22 November 2015

When something appalling happens, like last Friday’s events in Paris, how should those of us working in schools respond?


This ‘Merchant’ mesmerised me

22 September 2015
This ‘Merchant’ mesmerised me

This ‘Merchant’ mesmerised me

22 September 2015

Although I don’t see anyone hanging out the bunting or composing a special fanfare, it was thirty years ago this month that I started my career as a teacher. Frankly, I was as surprised as anyone, since I had vowed from the depths of my adolescence that teaching was the one career path I wouldn’t be following.


Great results down to great teachers

27 August 2015
Great results down to great teachers

Great results down to great teachers

27 August 2015

Here we are again then – perched at the end of another examination results season. As the Bury Free Press headline declared: ‘Top marks for Bury St Edmunds schools’.


The magic of getting lost in a good book

21 July 2015
The magic of getting lost in a good book

The magic of getting lost in a good book

21 July 2015

Of all our human achievements, for me as a grizzled English teacher one stands out: the ability to read and write.