* indicates required

Head takes over as president of head teachers union and issues appeal to government

Tony Draper, head of Water Hall Primary School in Bletchley, took up the post at the union’s conference in Liverpool last month and has warned that head teachers are providing increasing amounts of help and support to disadvantaged families, despite government promises to keep education funding in line with pupil numbers.

He said: “We know that there will be huge cuts to other public services that families rely on heavily. We know that schools are already picking up the pieces and we fear that there’s worse to come.

"NAHT is asking the government for more honesty about where the cuts will fall, and to listen to our ideas for alternative solutions to the problems in education.”

He has called on ministers to simplifying the process of paying the Pupil Premium – worth £1,300 per child – to eligible parents.

“We have seen how registration for this has fallen in some schools as a result of the introduction of universal free school meals for infants,” Mr Draper said.

“We would like the government to adopt our proposals for data sharing between government departments. Somebody, somewhere in Whitehall knows who is eligible. Passing on that information would stop poor families from having to cope with the stigma of coming forward and ease the burden of workload on schools who are having to find other ways to make sure poorer children are not missing out.”

NAHT Milton Keynes branch president Jane Miller said: "Mr Draper will have considerable influence on government policy. His role means that school leaders in Milton Keynes and around the country will have a passionate advocate for the values we all believe in.”

Mr Draper said: “We have put children at the heart of our efforts to work with the government on raising standards in education and I am passionate about continuing that work as president this year.”