David Cameron says he will turn every school into an academy

Local councils running schools will become 'a thing of the past'

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Indy Politics

Every school in Britain will be turned into an academy within the next five years, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister promised to make schools accountable to elected local councils “a thing of the past”.

“My next ambition is this,” he told Conservative party conference in Manchester.

“Five hundred new free Schools, every school an academy, and yes – local authorities running schools a thing of the past.”

Schools have traditionally been administered by local councils to keep them accountable to local voters.

However, under the academies programme, introduced by Tony Blair and expanded under David Cameron, hundreds of schools have been removed from local authority control.

Academies are directly funded by the Department for Education rather than local councils. They sometimes receive support from corporate or other sponsors.

The schools are often grouped into “chains” where a single trust runs more than one school.

Mr Cameron also used his speech to praise former education secretary Michael Gove, who he described as a "greater Conservative reformer".

Mr Gove, who is now justice secretary, will spend the next parliament reforming prisons.

There is no evidence that academy schools perform significantly better than local authority schools, according to the latest research published by the Local Government Association in July.

This summer teachers warned that the Government was using "force and coercion" to take schools away from local councils and hand them to Whitehall.

The Government has previously unveiled plans to make every school in the country rated “inadequate” by Ofsted an academy.

It also currently offers every school in the country the option of voluntarily becoming an academy.