Dozens of Birmingham schools could become independent from the city council under plans set out in the Queen’s Speech.
Every school which received a rating of “outstanding” from official inspectors will be encouraged to apply for academy status, which means they are funded by central government.
In Birmingham, 54 schools received the top rating from inspectors Ofsted over the past three years.
A new Academies Bill will allow primary and special schools to become academies for the first time.
It will also strip local councils of the right to object to academy proposals. They will no longer be consulted if a school wants to leave council control, and the Education Secretary in London will decide whether to grant the application.
But the Bill also states that any school which has “outstanding” status will automatically become an academy if the head teacher and governors wish, without even needing to apply.
It means the council could lose control of the city’s most successful state schools, marking the end of the traditional local education authority.
The Government said it expects “ a significant number” to open in September.
And John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said the governing bodies of a “substantial number” of secondaries are likely to vote in favour of fast-track academy status, some to win greater freedoms, but more to take advantage of additional funding as a cushion in a tough financial climate.
Birmingham already has plans to open nine academies but some of these have been replacements for schools with poor results, in contrast to the Government’s policy of encouraging the best schools to opt out of council control.
The existing academy proposals have also been drawn up with heavy city council involvement. However, the new bill will “remove the requirement to consult the local authority before opening an academy, thus simplifying and accelerating the process,” according to the Government.
But one head teacher of an “outstanding” Birmingham primary school said moving away from local authority control may not be the best thing for top-performing primaries.
Gill Griffiths, head teacher of World’s End Infants in Quinton, said applying for academy status would be “a huge step for a small primary school”. She said: “No-one has explained to us what the advantages of applying for academy status would mean for primary schools.
“It is not something that our governing body has considered at all and my gut feeling is that doing so would put us at a disadvantage because we have excellent support from our local authority in terms of payroll and legal matters.
“It may be advantageous to schools who don’t have a good relationship with their local authorities, but we are grateful for the support we receive and it makes sense to stay.”
Union leaders also condemned the plans, claiming that academies were no more successful than other schools.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union, said: “The Government should accept that the system isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing.
“There is simply no evidence that academy schools perform better than traditional community schools.”
A second Education and Children’s Bill to be published in the autumn will reform Ofsted and ensure that heads are held accountable for two core educational “goals” - attainment and closing the gap between rich and poor pupils.
It will introduce a slimmed-down curriculum, a reading test for 11-year-olds and give teachers and heads more powers to tackle bullying and bad behaviour.
The Bill also mentions plans to bring in a “pupil premium”, which will see money follow poorer children from school to school.
Together, the two Bills will pave the way for introduction of “free schools”, opened by parents or the private sector, by removing many of the barriers to their creation.
Conservative Chancellor George Osborne and his Lib Dem Deputy David Laws have also announced cuts of £200 million to university budgets, which is expected to mean 10,000 fewer student places are available.
It came on top of cuts of £449 million already announced for next year.
The Government’s £6.2 billion savings package included £80 million from closing the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, based in Coventry, as part of a cull of quangos, with the loss of 240 jobs.