In England today almost 9,000 schools with more than 4 million pupils operate outside of their democratically-accountable local authorities. These schools are state-funded but independent of local control. The charitable trusts that run them are accountable only to the Secretary of State for Education, not to local people. They are, at least for now, “not for profit”. Here, we’re focussing on the 189 schools with more than 100,000 students that are controlled by wealthy businessmen and Conservative party donors mostly, through private contracts agreed with central government as part of the “academies” scheme.