MORE than a million children are now taught in academy schools, education secretary Michael Gove will announce today.
That means one in three pupils are taught in schools that are independent of the local authority, after the coalition government converted 1,000 to academies during its first year in office.
“When we came to power there were just 200 academies across the country,” Gove is expected to say in his speech to the Tory party conference in Manchester.
“There are now more than 1,300. One thousand were converted in the last year,” he will add.
Academy schools are allowed to pay teachers according to their own salary scales, and have more control over the delivery of the national curriculum.
They were the brainchild of the former Labour government, which converted failing schools in a bid to improve standards, with early statistics suggesting they had some degree of success.
However, the coalition has also allowed schools that are rated as “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted to become academies, paving the way for a much faster rate of conversion.