The government is dropping a bill to convert all schools to academies, announced in the Queen's speech.

The Education Bill was based on a white paper which initially suggested all schools in England would be compelled to become academies.

But the element of compulsion was dropped after protests from councils and, instead, the bill encouraged schools to convert.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said no new legislation was required.

In a written Parliamentary statement Ms Greening said: "Our ambition remains that all schools should benefit from the freedom and autonomy that academy status brings. Our focus, however, is on building capacity in the system and encouraging schools to convert voluntarily.

"No changes to legislation are required for these purposes and therefore we do not require wider education legislation in this session to make progress on our ambitious education agenda."

The element of compulsion was dropped by the government after protests from many councils, including the mainly Conservative members of the County Council Network, who were opposed to forcing high-performing schools in their areas to convert.

Academies are independently run - but state-funded - schools, overseen by a not-for-profit business, known as an academy trust. They are often part of a chain.

The original plans would have required all schools to convert to academy status, or have plans to do so, by 2022.


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