Academies were introduced under the last Labour government with an aim to improve pupil performance. Originally, only failing schools were allowed to become academies, these were called sponsored academies. However, with the introduction of the Academies Act in 2010, this enabled all maintained schools to become academies. These schools are called converter academies.
In 2015, the government stated that it wanted every school to become an academy. As a consequence, local authorities would cease to run schools in the way that they have in the past. Local authorities would instead oversee the management of school places in their area, manage provision of the special-needs and champion children and their families.
The government white paper published in March 2015 contains the proposal that all schools will become academies.