Ms May told the Conservative local government conference: 'Our policy ensures a role for [local education authorities] - they will be responsible for ensuring every child gets a place at school.
'But free schools will not have to use the services provided by their LEA. They can turn to a private contractor, or even buy in a service from a neighbouring LEA.'
She castigated poorly performing councils identified by Ofsted such as Labour-run Leeds City Council and said: 'We will stop the interference in schools via central government. We will ensure that money gets direct to schools instead of going via LEAs. The money will go to direct to the classrooms and not on bureaucracy.'