Academies know how to attract and keep good teachers, it has been claimed.
Speaking at a conference in Berkshire, education secretary Michael Gove said this is why they place a "high premium" on providing development opportunities for staff.
"It is time that the opponents of academies recognised that the landscape has changed. Every month more and more great professionals are teaching in academies, and despite scare stories, those teachers are getting a great deal," he commented.
According to the Department for Education, many academies provide private medical care for staff, interest-free season ticket loans and enable them to study MAs at prestigious institutions such as Oxford University and Harvard in the US.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, criticised the minister for discussions of season ticket loans at a time when the government is attempting to cut teachers' pensions.
"Teachers should be paid a good basic wage and then it should be left up to them what they spend this on," he told the Guardian.
Posted by Katie Kearns