By politics.co.uk staff
Education secretary Michael Gove has reiterated his determination to push through his academy programme.
He wants to make it much easier for maintained schools to turn into academies by removing many of the restrictions currently in place. Schools rated 'outstanding' will be allowed to re-open as academies as early as this autumn.
Headteachers have delivered mixed responses to the plans, however. Wendy Foster of Combe primary school in Oxfordshire told the Times that heads "should be given the freedom to do what is right".
But Jane Hunter, head at Hackney's Daubeney primary school, told the same newspaper the move would "erode education departments within local authorities" and have a knock-on effect on recruitment, because schools would have to compete with the higher salaries offered by academies.
Writing in the Sun newspaper, Mr Gove said standards would rise "for all children". He said giving the schools the opportunity to break free of "bureaucratic control" would boost headteachers by "strengthening their hand".
He added: "I certainly won't let anything stand in the way of these reforms because improving the education of all our children should be the number one priority of any government."