Education Secretary Michael Gove has set out his vision for a new era for schools in England. Mr Gove said all schools would be given the opportunity to break away from local authority control and become academies.
Academies are state-funded schools which have a high degree of autonomy (independence).
Mr Gove said the changes and new freedoms would drive up standards for all schools, with supporters hailing them as a "revolution" in schools.
Critics have warned that the changes risk fragmenting state education, with the most disadvantaged children losing out, but the new coalition insists the system will help all pupils.
Schools rated as outstanding by inspectors could be fast-tracked into academy status for the autumn.
All schools in England - including primaries - will eventually be able to opt to become academies.
The proposals could mean thousands of schools leaving local authority control.
Mr Gove said: "What I'd like to do is to ensure some of the radicalism that we used to have in education policy returns.
It's about saying to heads, and boards of governors and teachers - it's up to you.
"I don't want to coerce anyone into a position with which they're unhappy. I want to allow schools to take up this offer."
Dan Moynihan from the Harris Foundation, which runs seven academies, said the measure would change the face of education in England.
"It's the beginning of an education revolution that has the ability to transform the lives of children," he said.
Mr Moynihan said getting academy status meant schools could be more flexible and therefore more able to meet the needs of all their pupils.
When schools become academies, they are given more control over the pay and conditions of staff and over what they teach.
Here at Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire we are intrigued to see whether such changes will improve the level of education in this country.