The coalition government had predicted around 200 schools would take up the offer to pull out of local authority control and become independent 'academies', but despite rushing through the legislation this summer, few establishments have signed up.
Speaking yesterday, Education Secretary, Michael Gove told reporters: 'This Government believes that teachers, not politicians and bureaucrats, should control schools and have more power over how they are run.'
Under the Labour Government, 277 academies opened, often replacing comprehensives which were struggling or on 'special measures'.
The status allows schools the freedom to run their own affairs, including the length of the school day, term dates and teacher salaries.
The NUT has branded the reforms a failure. Mike Harris, head of education at the Institute of directors, said: 'Whilst the fruits of these reforms cannot come soon enough, as continuing weaknesses in literacy and numeracy demonstrate, reform will not happen overnight.'
A Labour amendment to the coalition's Academies Act demanded schools must hold a 'consultation' before becoming academies, something activists from the National Union of Teachers has written to schools to remind them of.
Christine Blower, the general secretary of the NUT, said: 'For a policy that was supposed to be a flagship change for education, it is something of a failure to have so few schools opening at this stage.'
What do you think of 'academy' status for schools?
Has opting out of local authority control turned around a school near you?
Or it is simply different name, same problems?