Writing in the New Statesman Mr Adonis claims simply that Free Schools were in fact Labour policy, it's just that the Tories decided to give them a new name - "Free School" instead of "Academy" - and carry them on anyway. And he should know, he was the architect of Labour's education policies for most of the time of the last Government.
One of the key strengths of the schools, he argues, is their strong link with parents who in many cases actually set them up. This is what he says about our own West London Free School:
"parent groups can be highly effective sponsors, as is proving the case with the West London Free School, established by the journalist Toby Young and fellow parents in Hammersmith. Having visited WLFS, I say simply that Labour would be mad to propose to abolish it. The quality of teaching and leadership is very good, and the intake reflective of the local community. Tellingly, several of the parent-promoters are also teachers.
"WLFS, together with the nearby Hammersmith Academy, a free school established under Labour and sponsored jointly by the Information Technologists' Company and the Mercers' livery company (which also sponsors the outstanding Thomas Telford city technology college in Shropshire), are new model community comprehensives helping to redress the large outflow of Hammersmith children to private schools and to state schools outside the borough. It is especially bizarre that WLFS has been criticised for teaching Latin. Why should children have to go to private schools such as the Latymer Upper School next door, with its fees of £15,000 a year, to learn Latin? And why should we accept that children are unable to learn Latin in the state system and, therefore, that classicists entering top universities overwhelmingly come from public schools"?That last reference will be a sting in the tail for our MP, Andy Slaughter, who is frequently pillloried by his Conservative opponents in the borough for having attended Latymer Upper School and yet opposed West London Free School. The charge being, presumably, that he shouldn't seek to prevent other kids receiving the same high quality education as he did.
In fairness to Mr Slaughter he has said he wishes the school well now that it is a fixture in the borough, but the venom of the political debate on the issue is not likely to disappear any time soon. Not least because the pugnacious Toby Young rarely misses an opportunity to engage in some verbal street fighting on the issue.
After I reported in January last year that Mr Young was the "evictor in chief" of the charities formerly housed in Palingswick House in Hammersmith, which was sold to the school by our Council, he asked for a right of reply which I published here. The location of the school was just one of the many objections thrown at it at the time.
Politics aside, I am a local parent too and have heard mainly good things about the school - from people who have kids there and from others who want their kids to go there. These are not politicians or people with axes to grind one way or another, they're just local people who want the best for their children. And their voices have often been drowned out by the loudspeakers of others.
I have met Mr Adonis on several occasions and in my view he was always one of the most considered and clearly thoughtful Ministers in the Government, which is presumably why he was elevated to a senior position by Tony Blair ahead of the envious ranks of others. This, and the fact that he was once - shock horror - a member of another party, always meant that he was subjected to lots of tribalism from some of his fellow Labour peers, and I suspect this article will provoke more of the same. But Labour would be very foolish indeed not to listen to somebody who knows very much what he is talking about.
Fortuna ad schola!