TWO "trail-blazing" school academies could be built in Kirklees - if the Government comes up with £200m.
The council have put in a bid for the cash which would be used to set up academies in Huddersfield and Batley.
Kirklees Council leader Clr Robert Light said today it was a once in a lifetime chance to transform secondary school education and enhance the lifetime learning opportunities for generations to come in Kirklees.
The bid, as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme, would create two academy schools, one in Huddersfield and one in Batley.
Each would cater for between 800 and 1,500 secondary age children, although details about the exact locations or numbers of children involved has yet to be finalised.
The national academies programme was first announced by David Blunkett in March 2000 as part of plan to transform secondary education nationwide.
The first three academy schools opened in Bexley and Harringey, London and East Middlesborough in September 2002.
There are now 46 academies in areas of social deprivation and low educational standards.
They are usually sponsored by businesses, faith or community groups.
In this region there are already academies in Barnsley, Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds and Sheffield.
And yesterday Tory leader David Cameron called for the academies programme to go "further and faster" as he opened the latest of the government's flagship schools - London Academy in Edgware, North London.
Clr Light said: "This is an opportunity that cannot be missed. We want to strengthen every aspect of education in Kirklees and every school is part of that wider drive.
"The academies, and other aspects of the bid, are part of a programme to make sure pupils in Kirklees benefit from this government programme. This is a fantastic opportunity to create new buildings and facilities fit for the 21st century.
"It is a once in a lifetime chance to transform our secondary schools and to enhance the educational and lifelong learning opportunities for generations to come."
He added: "This is not just about providing better schools. It is part of a package to provide for the whole community, to make the best use of new centres for the local community in providing other services.
"This will include community and lifelong learning opportunities across all age ranges, sport and leisure resources, community health services, family welfare support and services, and social benefits."
But Liberal Democrats on the council said they would oppose the move.
Clr Kath Pinnock, leader of the Lib-Dem group, said: "I am surprised the Conservatives should choose to announce the decision without proper consultation with local parents and teaching professionals.
"Academies have been tried in other parts of the country and, in many places, found wanting.
"They are divisive, independent of local democratic accountability and their ethos and direction is determined by the private sponsor."