The project leader of the Riverside Cooperative Free School, a planned secondary school in Barking and Dagenham, told TES
that free schools offered teachers the opportunity of “applying alternative models of teaching”. This is despite two-fifths of academy heads in a recent survey
saying that there was sufficient room in the national curriculum for innovation and despite thousands of schools already using such alternative methods when appropriate.
One point he made, however, is significant. He said that “many educationalists are not happy with methods used in some of the most prominent academy chains”. This implies that academy chains are imposing teaching methods on their teaching staff instead of allowing teachers to use their professional judgement. Teachers in academy chains, he implies, have to conform.
John Burn, OBE, ex-Academy principal, warned in his evidence to the Education Bill committee
that academies in chains could end up with less freedom than they had under local authority management. It appears that some teachers are beginning to agree with him.