Michael Gove announced in the Commons’ chamber earlier that 1,100 schools have applied for Academy status since he wrote to all schools asking them if they would be interested in doing so. 626 of these are schools rated outstanding by Ofsted which means they are pre-approved for academy status. One would expect the vast majority of these schools to have become academies by the start of the next school year. Given that there are currently only two hundred odd in the whole country, these 626 schools will dramatically increase the number of academies.
There are more than twenty thousand schools in the country so academy status will still be a long way off being the norm. But this shift will make academies, perhaps Blair's greatest achievement, a considerable presence in numerical terms for the first time.
Gove also took the opportunity to announce the abolition of another quango, the General Teaching Council for England. This is the third quango that he has scrapped since becoming Secretary of State.