Education secretary Nicky Morgan has pledged to tackle failing and coasting schools as part of a continued attempt to drive up standards.
Writing in the Telegraph, Ms Morgan said new powers will be introduced to enable the government to step in from the moment that a school is found to be failing.
Regional School Commissioners will bring in new leadership and support from other excellent schools and heads, while the process of converting schools into academies will be sped up to ensure institutions benefit from excellent leadership.
Coasting schools will also be subject to government intervention. They will be put on immediate notice and required to work with a team of expert headteachers, with new leadership introduced for institutions that are unable to demonstrate a clear plan for improvement.
Finally, the education secretary pledged to make an immediate start on the commitment to open 500 new free schools, creating 270,000 new places for pupils and giving parents more choice over where their children study.
"A good education is the ultimate vehicle for change, giving every child the building blocks they need to make something of their life. A good teacher can raise you up. A high-performing school can help you to overcome disadvantage," Ms Morgan said.
She added that, despite the considerable progress made in recent years, too many young people's life chances are still determined by where they are born.
In Wirral, in north-west England, 60 per cent of young people achieve five or more A* to C grade GCSEs, including English and maths. In nearby Knowsley, however, only 35 per cent reach this standard.
Ms Morgan blamed "bureaucracy and legal hurdles" for the slower-than-expected transformation of the education system, meaning it has taken too long for schools to be given the support they require.
Posted by Theo Foulds