Under Section 14 of the Education Act 1996, local authorities must plan and secure sufficient schools for their area. Where a local authority identifies the need to establish a new school, Section 6A of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (the 'academy presumption'), requires it to seek proposals for an academy or free school. The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend Michael Gove, decides the successful proposal.
The Academy Presumption team's role within the Department for Education is to advise local authorities in meeting their obligations under the legislation and to advise my the Secretary of State during the decision making process.