The number of academies sponsored by the Church of England (CoE) is set to almost double by 2011, it has been announced.
The Church has confirmed that it intends to increase the number of academies it supports from 28 to 50 in the next two years, in a move which could make it the biggest sponsor of the government's flagship education institutions.
A spokesperson for the CoE told the Telegraph: "Our aspiration is that we will reach a target of 50 new Church of England academies by September 2011."
The spokesperson added that the majority of the new academies would be located in socio-economically disadvantaged areas and would provide school places for up to 30,000 young people across England.
Should the plans be realised, the CoE would be responsible for the provision of approximately 60,000 pupil places within the secondary schools sector in England, according to the newspaper.
Around one million children and young people are enrolled and educated at CoE institutions each year.