HAMPSHIRE’S education boss has hit out at government plans to force all state schools to become academies.

Conservative Peter Edgar is executive member for education at Hampshire County Council, which along with other local authorities will lose control of schools under proposals due to be announced by the chancellor in his budget speech later today.

Cllr Edgar – a former teacher – said the scheme could result in Britain’s education system “imploding” and urged the government to think again.

He said: “I am horrified to think that the county council’s role in education is going to be destroyed by George Osborne in his budget.

“We have worked with the government to deliver the reforms and have been congratulated by Ofsted as being one of two authorities in the country who have interpreted the reforms in the right way by giving the support, intervention, and challenge to our family of schools.”

Cllr Edgar said 84-per-cent of Hampshire’s 534 schools had been rated “good” or “outstanding” while only three had been classed as inadequate.

He added: “What on earth are we doing so wrong that we need to be abolished?

“We have even been congratulated by the Prime Minister for our work with the neighbouring Isle of Wight authority.

“I am a lifelong conservative but this statement of policy could lead to the country's education system imploding.

“I do not understand it, particularly as there is no evidence whatsoever that the conversion of schools to academies is improving standards.

“Now with academy chains paying their chief executives more than the Prime Minister, the whole thing needs to be put on hold.”