PLANS to give secondary schools greater independence is evidence the Government is committed to driving up standards, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman said.
Mr Sheerman, chairman of the Commons education select committee, spoke as ministers prepare to publish a five-year plan for secondary schools.
Reports said the plan will involve giving selected schools greater freedom to borrow money for expansion, to alter pay rates to attract and reward top quality staff, and change elements of the curriculum.
Up to 500 of the top performing schools could be rewarded with that enhanced status.
Mr Sheerman said: "The Prime Minister believes that diversity and choice will drive up standards, and that is what he has been doing since he became Prime Minister.
"You could say he has been very successful, in early years, pre-school, right through to 11, and he feels good about that.
"But he is still discontented about the level of quality we are getting through into the secondaries. So this is his next phase of the campaign.
"The whole pattern is just shaking up secondary education to say `look, we are not going to have anyone complacent here about standards'.
"We know that similar schools with similar children have very big differences in terms of how they bring their children on."
There would also be the opportunity for charities and parents' collectives to open new schools.
Clusters of schools would be presided over by a chief executive with a proven record of driving up educational standards.
And by the end of the decade there would be a fourfold expansion of the City Academies programme, with up to 200 such institutions which can draw on private sponsorship, he said.