Nick Weller, Chair of the Independent Academies Association
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Free schools 'are pulling up standards'

20 October 2013 Last updated at 10:30 BST

The government's flagship free schools policy has faced criticism from Labour after a faith school in Derby was rated inadequate by inspectors.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also voiced his concerns, indicating he has strong differences of opinion with his Tory coalition partners over free schools.

Nick Weller oversees several free schools in Bradford and he is also the Chair of the Independent Academies Association.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he has defended the free schools system, saying that there is more flexibility for staff, and clearer terms and conditions.

He said that academies are improving at twice the rate of the national average, and that free schools also are "pulling up standards, not dragging them down".