Parents who set up the Government's flagship free schools would be guaranteed places under new admissions proposals being considered by ministers.
The move is set to be announced in a new admissions code published later this month. But Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said it "paves the way for pushy middle-class parents to set up a school so their children don't have to go to school with the great unwashed".
The argument is that the parents may have spent up to 60 hours a week planning the new school – and therefore should be entitled to a place.
The move marks a U-turns from a commitment given by Education Secretary Michael Gove just after the election that free schools would have to abide by the national admissions code.