George Moncur put the Reds in front towards the end of the first half but a goal from substitute Luke Varney soon after the restart ensured Burton’s survival.
The Brewers knew a point would be enough to keep them in the second tier and Barnsley coach Jamie Clapham said: “You have to congratulate Burton for the season they’ve had. Staying up is a great achievement.
“Today was always going to be difficult because we knew they were always going to get bodies behind the ball, make it tough and slow the game down, so it’s nothing we didn’t expect.
“Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the quality to open them up. We gave everything but we just couldn’t break them down. The players gave everything for the Barnsley shirt, as they have done all season. The season’s not over. We’re really looking forward to going to Newcastle and spoiling their party.”
Clough claimed: “I’d say this is our greatest achievement because of the clubs we have been up against this season and the strength of the league.
“To get 52 points and survive is a bigger achievement than actually reaching the Championship.
“We have had to play the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday, week in, week out, so there are no easy games. You look at the resources and we are on a par with a lot of teams in League One, but we’re not on a par with anyone in the Championship.”
Barnsley: Davies, Jones (Mowatt 66), Adam Jackson, MacDonald, Elder (Hedges 90), Scowen, James, Moncur (Armstrong 81), Kent, Bradshaw, Watkins. Unused substitutes: Lee, Townsend, Evans, Williams.
Burton Albion: Bywater, Mousinho, McFadzean, Turner, Brayford, Christensen, Murphy, Irvine (Akins 46), Flanagan (McCrory 77), Sordell, Kightly (Varney 51). Unused substitutes: Dyer, Woodrow, Naylor, Campbell.
Referee: J Simpson (Lancashire).