Council leaders are calling for more power to intervene in failing schools to help hold academies and free schools to account.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for new reforms to enable councils to hold all schools accountable for the quality of education they provide.
It warns that at the moment councils have no power to intervene in problem academies, creating a ‘two-tier system of accountability’.
The LGA also said that red tape and limited powers were also preventing councils from intervening quickly enough to help improve council-maintained schools.
Cllr David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘We need to ensure robust intervention powers for all of those held accountable for school performance.
‘Changed structures alone won't drive improvement without good head teachers, effective teaching, and teamwork by governors and support staff.’