Academies, as private companies, are wholly removed from any local democratic control.
They can set the pay and conditions of staff, and are exempt from having to employ qualified teachers registered with the General Teaching Council.
They can vary the curriculum and admissions procedures. Christian groups are in charge of five of the academies that have opened and are the biggest sponsor of those planned.
In 2003 the Church Times reported on plans to divert Church of England funds into taking over schools.
Church commissioner Peter Bruinvels said, “Schools are today’s and tomorrow’s future. It’s about front line evangelism.”