1. ITV Report

Up to 1,000 failing schools to be turned into academies under Government plans

Up to 1,000 failing schools could be turned into academies under the plans. Credit: PA Wire

Every school rated as inadequate by Ofsted will be turned into academies under new laws, the Education Secretary has announced.

The Education and Adoption Bill will "sweep away the bureaucratic and legal loopholes" to speed up the process of turning failing schools into academies, Nicky Morgan said.

Up to 1,000 schools could be turned into academies under the plans.

Schools considered to be ''coasting'' also face being taken over as part of the bid to raise standards.

Critics claimed the proposals were a "crude attack on state comprehensive education".

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. Credit: PA Wire

"Today's landmark bill will allow the best education experts to intervene in poor schools from the first day we spot failure," Ms Morgan said.

"It will sweep away the bureaucratic and legal loopholes previously exploited by those who put ideological objections above the best interests of children."

She added: "This Bill will allow them to do their job faster and more effectively, ensuring that thousands more pupils from across the country get the world class education they deserve."

Labour's shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said the plans "do not meet the challenges we face in education", labelling the Government's education policy as "partisan and divisive".

The Government says leading teachers have backed the plans. Credit: PA Wire

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the pledge "to convert 'up to 1,000' schools is as irrational as it is impractical".

"The public will see these proposals for what they really are: a crude attack on state comprehensive education and a further step towards full school privatisation," she added.

The Department for Education claimed a number of leading headteachers and education experts had backed the reforms, including Dame Rachel de Souza, chief executive officer of the Inspiration Trust.

"As an academy principal and now CEO of a multi-academy trust I have seen for myself the power of academies to transform young lives and turn around failing and lacklustre schools quickly," she said.

"A fresh start as an academy brings hope and new energy to staff and pupils."