Legislation to enable the conversion of every school in England into an academy could be published within days, Schools Week understands.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan is expected to address the House of Commons on Thursday, just one day after the budget, which is expected to include an announcement about converting thousands of schools.
The Guardian is reporting the academies legislation will be a key announcement by George Osborne tomorrow, and ministers are thought to be keen to begin the legal process before the pre-election purdah period, during which publications by government are restricted.
It comes less than a month after the government’s education and adoption bill was passed by Parliament. It was due to pave the way for all failing and coasting schools to become academies, and was expected to be signed into law by the Queen next month.
Secondary legislation to define what a coasting school is was expected later this year. It is not known if the government will proceed with this if new laws are passed.
The latest figures show that around 61 per cent of the 3,381 state secondary schools in England are already academies, compared to just 14.5 per cent of its 16,766 primaries.