Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“The proposals put forward in the Chancellor's budget statement today will effectively force schools into becoming academies, often against their wishes.
“It simply makes no sense to portray councils as barriers to school improvement. Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has recently strongly criticised the academy programme and highlighted the serious failing of England’s largest academy chains, which were intended to replace the role of local authorities.
“In Leeds, we have put children and young people firmly at the heart of the growth strategy of the city, and the quality of their education is central to this. We currently have 93% of local authority maintained schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, which compares to 76% of academies in the city. We want to continue working collaboratively with our learning community and build on this strong performance still further.
"We will be engaging with headteachers and school leaders across the city to look together at the implications of these reforms for individual schools, groups of schools and the city as a whole, and support them as they make important decisions about their future. In particular we will examine the impact that the reforms will have on our most vulnerable children and young people.”