Nearly 900 schools are to take up the Government’s offer of independence, Education Secretary Michael Gove revealed during a speech to teachers in Birmingham.
He said seven out of ten of Britain’s top schools had told him they wanted to become academies, which are free from local council control.
Mr Gove has offered every school which receives a rating of “outstanding” from official inspectors Oftsed, including 54 in Birmingham, the chance to become an academy.
And he said a total of 870 across the country, 70 per cent, had responded by taking up the offer.
The Government has not yet named the schools which will become academies.
Mr Gove was speaking to the annual conference of the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services, at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre.
A major expansion of academies will mark the end of the traditional local education authority, as they will no longer be involved in running many successful comprehensive schools.
And teaching unions have condemned the plans, claiming that academies were no more successful than other schools.
Mr Gove also promised a major crackdown on bad behaviour in the classroom as he promised to return power to teachers instead of officials or politicians.
He said: “I will also reform the rules on discipline and behaviour to protect teachers from abuse, from false allegations, from disruption and violence.
“The biggest single barrier to good people starting, or staying, in education is poor pupil behaviour and we need a relentless focus on tackling this issue.
“That means getting parents to accept their responsibilities, giving teachers the discretion they need to get on with the job and sending a clear and consistent message at all times that adult authority has to be respected if every child is to have their chance.”