Gove invites all schools in England to become academies

Outstanding schools to be fast-tracked under scheme that could see local authorities lose control of

Education Secretary Michael Gove is to invite all primary and secondary schools in England to become academies.

This could mean that thousands of schools are no longer under the control of their local authority.

Schools rated at outstanding by inspectors will be able to switch their status more quickly, and could become academies as soon as the autumn.About one in five secondary schools is rated as outstanding.

Academies set up under the proposals would be managed by external companies.

This bill represents a major shift in the function of academies. The programme was set up to improve standards in deprived areas. However, under these new proposals, many of the most successful schools would become academies.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers' union, said that "academies and free schools are a recipe for educational inequality and social segregation".