The Department has now changed the model agreements so that academies and free schools created in the future will not be constrained in that way. The new model agreement now says this:
“… the Academy Trust shall, in accordance with any guidance which the Secretary of State may issue on the qualifications of teaching and other staff in Academies, employ anyone it deems is suitably qualified or is otherwise eligible under a contract of employment or for services to carry out planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils, delivering lessons to pupils, assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils, and reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.”
At the same time the Department has apparently said that “existing academies will have to apply to make the change by altering their contract (funding agreement) with the government.” It is not clear whether that gives a green light to any academies who want to ask for that change, or whether it is simply stating the legal position which is that the change made in the model only applies to future academies/free schools and does not affect those already in existence unless and until their funding agreements are amended.
The possibility of amendment of existing agreements also opens up the possibiity that, if academies/free schools were to ask for an amendment relaxing the teacher qualification rule, the Department would also take the opportunity to (in exchange) bring the particular funding agreement in line with the up to date model.