The new Education Secretary has revealed she is open to the possibility of allowing schools to make a profit.
Nicky Morgan said any policy would need to be thought about "very carefully" but she is "happy to have lots of further advice" on the issue.
Labour claimed the Conservative Cabinet minister had "let the cat out of the bag" and said parents would be "alarmed" by the comments.
Former education secretary Michael Gove previously said he had no "ideological objection" to businesses making profits from schools but L iberal Democrats have been firmly opposed to such a move.
During a TES web-chat Ms Morgan said: "I think we are very clear and that the sector is very clear about the importance of not for profit.
"[For profit] is something I'm happy to have lots of further advice and emails on. I suspect that most people may not be very keen on it, but it's something ... well, you'd have to think very carefully.
"I think, actually the not for profit model has worked extremely well and we have really successful academies and academy sponsors and what we want to see is more of the best schools, more successful academies, more free schools, more university technical colleges, things that really work for students that are at the heart of the system."
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said: "Nicky Morgan has let the cat out of the bag, and parents will be alarmed that Conservative ministers are motivate d not by improving the learning outcomes for all children, but by the prospect of using state schools to generate dividends for shareholders.
"Labour is unequivocal in its rejection of the profit schools model that has done so much damage to education standards and raise inequality elsewhere.
"Nicky Morgan's refusal to rule letting companies make a profit out of our children's education reveals the true intentions that lie behind Cameron's programme for a second term in office."