The Coalition Government believes that teachers, not politicians and bureaucrats, know best how to run schools and under the new proposals many more schools will be able to take advantage of the freedoms academy status brings.
All primary and secondary schools will be able to seek academy status - providing they team up with a school classed as outstanding by Ofsted and for the first time special schools will also have the opportunity to become academies. Good schools with outstanding features will also be automatically eligible to apply, as outstanding schools are now.
347 schools in England are currently academies and eighty of these are the new-style academies, created since the coalition came to power. Since July some 224 applications for academy status have been received by the Department for Education.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "We know that the best way of improving schools is by getting the professionals who have already done a brilliant job to spread their wings. That is why we are now allowing more schools to benefit by allowing all schools to apply for academy status, if they are teamed with a high-performing school."