AN AWARD-WINNING headteacher has called on ministers to boost funding to schools.

George Croxford’s comments came as he and Royal Wootton Bassett Academy English teacher Simon Gunstone were named among the UK’s best educators. The pair each claimed a silver award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards, often called the Oscars of teaching.

The Bassett headteacher, who has led the school since 2010, said: “The message for ministers is that they need to stop cutting in real terms the funding for schools - which is absolutely crippling all schools – and make up the gap, which has been increasing since 2010.”

He added of being shortlisted for the best secondary school headteacher award: “I’m very honoured. I’m thrilled to have been put forward by a teacher in the school.

“It’s a massive reflection on the school. I want to say a huge thank you to all the staff and the kids. It reflects on them.”

Awards organisers say it is unusual for one school to have two winners.

Steven Paddock, deputy headteacher, said: “In every facet of their roles Mr Croxford and Mr Gunstone exemplify the traits of great educators.

“They place the pupils at the heart of their actions and work tirelessly to develop a love for learning within each and every pupil and teacher they work with.

“As a school community, we are very proud of their achievements today and thank them, for all their ongoing efforts here at the academy.”

The Adver understands the two teachers were nominated by a fellow teacher at Bassett. Their names were whittled down from thousands of entries, with Mr Croxford and Mr Gunstone two of just 68 silver award winners across the country.

They have now been shortlisted to win one of 13 gold awards at a glittering award ceremony in London in October. The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC2 later that month. Previous award presenters have included former prime ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron.

Michael Morpurgo, War Horse author, former Children’s Laureate and president of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “So often and for so many of us, it is a teacher who changed our lives, was at our side through hard and difficult times, who lifted us up when we were down, helped us find our voice, gave us confidence when we needed it most, set us on a path that we have followed ever since."

As headteacher, George Croxford has been vociferous in his appeals to government for more schools funding. In a letter to the department for education last month, he said cash provided to schools was inadequate.