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  1. ITV Report

Plans to turn every school in England into an academy 'included in Osborne's Budget 2016'

Radical plans to pull every school in England out of the control of local councils and transform them into academies are set to be unveiled in today's Budget announcement.

The Chancellor will also "signal the end of the Victorian school day" with the abolition of the traditional 3.30pm finish time.

Under the Budget proposals, English schools will be able to apply for new funding to provide their pupils with at least an additional five hours a week of lessons or high-quality extra-curricular activities, including sport and art.

ITV News political editor Robert Peston reports:

Reports suggest the controversial draft legislation is likely to follow within days, outlining how the running of all mainstream schools would be handed over to headteachers and teachers, independent of council influence.

It follows a speech by Prime Minister David Cameron in the autumn, in which he said he wanted to take the education system out of the hands of "bureaucrats".

The move has sparked anger within the industry, with many arguing that shortfalls in funding and the recruitment crisis are the biggest problems facing the education sector.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) accused the government of "undoing 50 years of comprehensive public education at a stroke".

Slamming the government's "arrogance", NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney said taking away the support of councils and replacing them with academy trusts would make schools "unaccountable to parents, staff or local communities".

The news has prompted anger within the industry Credit: PA

He said:

Parents will be as outraged as teachers that the Government can undo over 50 years of comprehensive public education at a stroke.

The most urgent problems in schools are to do with the chronic teacher shortage, real terms funding cuts, the school places crisis, chaotic implementation of the curriculum, and workload going through the roof.

The drive towards total academisation will do absolutely nothing to fix those problems.

– Kevin Courtney, NUT

Turning schools into academies could signal the end of both the national curriculum and pay regulation for teachers, as academy schools are exempt from both.

He said the NUT would oppose what he said were efforts to "privatise our education system", and said Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw had submitted a report to the government last week which highlighted "serious consequences for children's education" of schools being run by multi-academy trusts.

"This arrogant Government is choosing to ignore the evidence from the HMCI, the Education Select Committee and the Sutton Trust's own Chain Effects report, which clearly demonstrates that academy status not only does not result in higher attainment but that many chains are badly failing their pupils, particularly their disadvantaged pupils," he said.

Funding and recruitment are the real problems facing education, experts have argued Credit: PA

Meanwhile, the Local Government Association (LGA) called on ministers to focus more on the quality of education, rather than spending public money changing "the legal status of a school".

Forcing schools to become academies strips parents, teachers and faith groups of any local choice.

We have serious concerns that Regional Schools Commissioners still lack the capacity and local knowledge to have oversight of such a large, diverse and remote range of schools.

The LGA opposes both forced academisation, and giving significant powers relating to education to unelected civil servants with parents and residents unable to hold them to account at the ballot box.

– Roy Perry, LGA chairman of the children and young people board

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is expected to give more details on the plans when she speaks to the House of Commons on Thursday.

The Treasury and Department for Education declined to comment on Tuesday.

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