The head of England's education watchdog has called for councils to be more "radical" in helping staff in education jobs to raise standards in the country's schools.
Latest official figures show that as of the end of June, 2,318 schools had left local authority control and become academies, while 2,816 schools had been approved for conversion and 3,156 had applied to convert.
Speaking at the Local Government Conference in Manchester, Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw told delegates to "seize the moment" and adjust to this new educational environment, rather than complaining about academisation and reduced funding.
He asserted: "This is in many ways the last chance saloon for local authorities to demonstrate that you have a part to play in the standards and agenda and to show you are relevant to the crucial government drive to improve standards in schools and other institutions."
Sir Michael added that while pressures on councils have grown, they need to be "optimistic and radical" in their approach to education.
Moreover, he said if directors of children's services were concerned over standards at local academies, they can still take action to highlight the problem, including if necessary asking Ofsted to inspect the institution in question.
Posted by Theo Foulds