The government’s city academy building programme could be under threat after the National Union of Teachers, the largest teaching union, made clear its opposition to them.

Two hundred are scheduled to be built throughout the country under PFI and several are up and running. But the NUT has hit out at the cost and privatised element of the plans, and has pledged to stop them.

Delegates at the NUT annual conference at Gateshead this week voted to send representatives to the proposed sites of academies to persuade parents and teachers to prevent the launch of the projects.

A key complaint by union members is over the cost of the buildings. Each academy costs the government £25m to build, compared with an average of £15m for an ordinary secondary school.

The NUT’s opposition will add to criticism of the programme earlier last month, when the House of Commons education select committee called for the programme to be halted until research could establish that the 17 academies already created had successfully raised standards.