FORCING Oxfordshire's schools to become academies will harm the county's education system and see children used as guinea pigs.

In her warning, Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley also said the announcement, made by the Chancellor yesterday, had been forced on schools and was "big brother gone mad."

She said said the move would mean they would no longer be run by those who knew best and that the good influence the county council had on education in Oxfordshire would be lost forever.

The planned legislation on academies- schools which are state-funded but run by their headteacher and overseen by a charitable trust rather than a local authority- was one of a number of announcements in yesterday's budget.

Mr Osborne also announced:

-Fuel, beer, cider and spirit duties will all be frozen

-A new sugar tax on soft drinks

-A rise in the tax-free personal allowance to £11,500 in April 2017

-A new state-back savings scheme for low-paid workers

-Corporation tax will fall from 20 per cent to 17 per cent by 2020.

Mrs Tilley said: "I do not think telling everyone to do something is a particularly good idea - I do not like diktats.

"Why doesn't the Government just get off everybody's backs?

"Schools know what is best for them, their pupils and their parents.

"This is just big brother gone mad.

"I do not think all schools which become academies will suddenly be rated 'good' or 'outstanding' by Ofsted.

"The local authority is better placed to run schools than academy trusts."

She added she would write to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan with her concerns.

The Government had previously said it wanted all schools to become academies but it now wants to make this a legal requirement.

Schools would have to either become an academy or have a conversion plan in place by 2020.

In Oxfordshire 27 out of 35 secondary schools are academies as well five out of 15 special schools but only 60 out of 237 primaries.

Windmill Primary School in Headington is one of those which is still under local authority control.

Headteacher Lynn Knapp said: "We knew this was coming but I am not pleased.

"All we are going to be doing is making mini local authorities under the name of academy trusts.

"It does not give us any assurance standards will go up.

"Education is in a no-man's land, it is the biggest time of chance I have ever had in 20 years as a headteacher.

"Children are being used as guinea pigs and that is not good."

In his speech to the House of Commons Mr Osborne said the move would free schools from local education bureaucracy.

He also revealed £0.5bn would be given to help speed up the introduction of a new funding formula for schools.

National Union of Teachers Oxfordshire representative Gawain Little said: "This change offers no parental choice at all.

"It is a one-size-fits-all solution.

"We are really concerned, the issues facing our schools have been completely ignored."

Some schools, such as The Cherwell School in North Oxford and King Alfred's Academy in Wantage are part of academy trusts made up of a number of schools.

Others, like Wallingford School, are single-school academy trusts.

All academies control their own admissions and are inspected by Ofsted.

Wallingford School headteacher Wyll Willis said: "For us academy status brought a number of benefits.

"There was a financial incentive when we did it and I liked the freedom and independence.

"I do not know how it would work in schools that do not feel that it is the right thing for them."