A Labour government will let councils open and run new schools and take over academies, Jeremy Corbyn has told Schools Week.

Speaking following his speech to the annual conference of the National Association of Head Teachers in Telford today, the Labour leader expanded on plans set out by the shadow chancellor John McDonnell to “restore” the role of the local education authority.

When asked whether he would allow councils to set up and run new schools, something which is currently not allowed under the government’s free schools programme, Corbyn said he would, adding that he was “not in favour of expanding free schools”.

“At the moment if any area needs a new school, which some do, the council cannot as a local, education authority build a school even if they want to. It has to be a free school that is built, and that seems to me to be dictatorial on the councils.

“What I want to do is give them the authority to build a new school if one is needed.”

Corbyn also said councils would be allowed to take over those schools that are currently academies “where they want to”, but said they would not be forced to do so.