My understanding is that if enough of the employees want the school to recognise a union, then it has to. In which case, industrial action is protected provided that the correct legal procedures are followed. Perhaps the employment law experts could confirm or deny this. It is true that the absence of a nationally recognised set of rules means that employees can be taken advantage of, although this can also be true for academies, and even LA schools get away with breaking them, it would appear. I really doubt if we can simply say that one type of school is bad and another good. Those of us who have been around for a while have seen horror stories from all types of school.