Teachers branded frantic attempts by Rupert Murdoch to run a taxpayer-backed school as the true face of Tory Michael Gove's so-called "parent-led" education policies.
The NUT union hit out after a series of emails released as part of the Leveson inquiry into media ethics showed how the billionaire media mogul's firm News International courted the Education Secretary over a long period.
NI, which publishes the red-top Sun and Times newspapers, offered £2 million sponsorship to create an academy school in east London borough Newham.
When its plans fell through it asked government officials whether it should go down the free school route instead.
DfE records show that Mr Murdoch and Mr Gove had dinner five times, as well as a lunch and a breakfast, between May 2010 and June last year.
And yesterday National Union Teachers general secretary Christine Blower said the email exchanges "clearly expose the lie that free schools are parent-led schools, established in response to parental demand and local need.
"They reveal the extent to which the government is pursuing an ideological educational agenda that has nothing to do with meeting the needs of local families and everything to do with promoting its own vanity projects and those of its corporate supporters."
News International's hunt to mould the minds of children in east London's poorest borough only ended because the Department for Education (DfE) could not afford to pay for a new building.
NI told the Morning Star that the idea had been stopped "some considerable time ago."