Further to Peter’s post on Wednesday, the DfE website now confirms that a wider range of schools will be able to apply to become academies. Michael Gove has announced that ”Alongside outstanding schools, all schools that are ranked good with outstanding features by Ofsted will automatically be eligible for academy status. All other schools – primary or secondary – that wish to enjoy academy freedoms will also be eligible, providing they work in partnership with a high-performing school that will help drive improvement. In addition, for the first time, special schools will also have the opportunity to become academies, providing them the opportunity to operate with greater freedom and autonomy in order to better respond to the needs of children with special educational needs or disabilities. Special schools will be able to apply to convert in January.” (http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/a0068006/academy-model-extended-so-every-school-can-benefit). More than 220 schools have applied and 80 academies have opened since July 2010.