The Town Hall has sought to allay fears that all primary and secondary schools locally could be stripped from local authority control.
Hackney Learning Trust, which is run by the council, is still exploring the possibility of setting up a multi-academy trust.
This is despite the fact that the government has binned its controversial education bill, having already apparently rowed back on plans to force state schools to become academies.
But Councillor Anntoinette Bramble, whose cabinet brief covers children’s services, said future changes to the funding settlement from Whitehall could yet push maintained schools into academy status against their will.
Speaking just before the Department for Education announced it was ditching the bill, she said schools could be left financially vulnerable under a revised funding formula.
The Treasury refuses to comment on any speculation about new funding settlements in advance of the Autumn Statement, to be announced at the end of November.
Last month the Hackney branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) complained the council was “pushing forward with the government’s attempt to fragment our education system” by looking at options for a multi-academy trust.
Under such an arrangement, schools would be likely to be strongly encouraged, if not actively forced, to become academies.
Cllr Bramble insists she is opposed to forced academisation.
Asked if she was therefore taking the council in a direction that conflicted with her political beliefs, she admitted: “It may seem like that. Politically I am against forced academisation.
“But in my role, in terms of children, I have to explore every avenue that would best suit their wellbeing. It’s a challenge.”
She added: “I think it would be foolhardy, when schools are asking us ‘Can you offer us any alternative?’ for us not to explore what that looks like.”
Council officer Anne Canning, who is the head of Hackney Learning Trust, said the approach was “pragmatic”.
“A number of local authorities up and down the country have tried to take their school improvement and some of their services into an independent organisation away from the local authority and set up a not for profit organisation,” she said. “But actually, those organisations can’t sponsor a multi-academy trust.
“I’m not saying they’re dodging the bullet, but they have not considered in their structure what might happen if they wanted to have a multi-academy trust in the borough that best reflects the ethos and principles that they stand for.”
She added: “The NUT has it from an entirely political point of view in that they’ve taken a stance against forced academisation, which the politicians and the council are completely in agreement with.
“It’s one of those difficult things where with national policy, sometimes you have to look at it and think: ‘What’s best for my local community?’
“But we are certainly not in any way doing this as a means of accelerating the rate of forced academisation.”
Under current criteria, maintained schools can already be taken over by an academy chain if their local authority no longer has capacity to manage them.