One of the country's top public schools could be lined up to help sponsor a specialist secondary school academy on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
Funding would help modernise Sheppey middle schools
Kent County Council (KCC) said talks had taken place with Dulwich College in London over plans to join the scheme.
The academy would be based at various middle schools across the island and it is hoped the "much needed funding" would modernise several schools.
Two academy style schools have already been set up in Ramsgate and Folkestone.
KCC's cabinet member for education Paul Carter said he would "very much like to see this happen".
But he said: "It is no means a certainty that they will want to join us in sponsorship but there are meetings in the next few weeks."
Mr Carter insisted that although Sheppey would benefit greatly from more funding and expertise, the public schools would benefit too.
"I think the public sector has a lot to learn from the independent sector and the independent sector can also learn from the public sector," he said.
The proposals will now go forward to the Department for Education.
The Isle of Sheppey is the only area in Kent to still have a middle school system.
The three middle schools educate children from nine to 13.
If the academy were to get the go-ahead, a two-tier system of primary and secondary schools could replace middle schools and re-open the debate as to which is the best system.