The government announced 28 pilot projects to trial its trust schools model yesterday.
The projects, which affect 50 schools, will develop ideas about how trust arrangements will work in practice.
Under the model, schools gain control over admissions, employing staff and managing their land from councils, but are tied to the control of a charitable foundation, which appoints the governors.
The Department for Education and Skills also announced the appointment of the first schools commissioner in the shape of one of its civil servants, Bruce Liddington, a former head teacher.
He will have responsibility for promoting trusts and academies, advising on school improvement and ensuring councils fulfil their duties to promote parental choice and fair access to good schools.
Schools will be able to become trusts from next year, when the relevant elements of the Education and Inspections Bill – as reported by Community Care – come into force.