1,500 schools aim to opt out

More than 1,500 schools have expressed interest in becoming academies, the Government says.

The list includes just over 800 rated as "outstanding" by the education standards watchdog, Ofsted, and these will be able to switch automatically from local authority control to academy status under new legislation.

The status gives schools freedom from the national curriculum. At least 52 grammar schools and nearly 200 church schools have expressed interest, despite both the Roman Catholic Church and grammar school leaders cautioning against the idea. The list also includes one Sikh, one Muslim and two Jewish state schools.