Michael Gove, the Shadow Children’s Secretary, told the party's conference in Birmingham that the change would give the schools "the freedom to innovate and with control over budgets, curriculum and discipline".
He said the plans would lead to schools being “free to pursue tougher discipline policies, free to pay good teachers more, free to innovate, experiment and drive up standards."
"We expect to double the number of academies currently planned - we will be on course for academies to become the norm in secondary education,” he told delegates.
In return for greater freedom, these new academies would be asked to help under-performing schools, with the innovations pioneered in the best schools being deployed to drive up standards in the poorest.
Mr Gove added: “It’s because we believe background should not be destiny, that being born into disadvantage should not mean being deprived of a future, that we want to spread opportunity more widely.”