Nicky Morgan
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan: NUT treasurer Ian Murch says that schools were being "stolen" from local communities by "arrogant ministers". Getty Images

The National Union of Teachers' (NUT) conference has backed strike action for the summer term. A one-day strike is part of a campaign against plans to force all schools in England to become an academy. The NUT says there is no evidence to suggest academy status will improve schools any faster than local authorities are able to.

The Department for Education accused the union of "playing politics with our children's future". Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has told teachers she has no intention of backing down.

Morgan was met with shouts of "rubbish" when she spoke at the NASUWT annual conference on Saturday 26 March. The MP for Loughborough is the first Conservative education secretary to address a teaching union conference since the 1990s.

"I want to be clear there will be no pulling back from that vision, there is no reverse gear when it comes to our education reforms," she told the audience, where one delegate shouted: "Get off!"

The NUT's treasurer Ian Murch said there were concerns that schools were being "stolen" from local communities by "arrogant ministers".

He added that schools should be seen as a "public service and not a business opportunity". Murch challenged the handing over of schools to academy chains, saying that it would be a step towards privatisation.

Hazel Danson, from the union's executive, said the policy of making all schools academies would cause "absolute chaos" at a time when there were more important priorities such as teacher shortages. She said the plans would be to "remove parental voice as well as parental choice".

Jeremy Corbyn, who received a standing ovation at the NUT conference, said that compulsory academy status was a step towards "asset stripping" the state education system. The Labour leader drew laughs by identifying Chancellor George Osborne as one person who could benefit from the lessons of his late mother, who was a maths teacher and NUT member.