Controversial plans to set up a city academy in Newcastle have moved on to the next stage.
Plans are for the academy to open in 2008.
Newcastle City Council's executive has agreed the plans in principle which means further discussion and consultation can go ahead.
The council has held talks with Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay to discuss whether he would fund such a project.
But the union Unison has expressed concerns about the plans and the role of private investment in education.
Under the plans, the new academy would replace West Gate Community College and be located on a different site, most likely to be in the Benwell and Scotswood ward.
Students and staff from West Gate would transfer to the new school, which the council says would take 90% of its pupils from the local area.
If the plans go ahead, the academy would be expected to open in September 2008.
Council executive member for education and training Cllr Nick Cott said developing the academy would bring in extra investment and help to regenerate the West End of the city.
But Kenny Bell, from Unison, has called for investment in schools without the "strings of the academy".
The council's executive has also agreed the strategic business case for a £130m funding package.
The funding though the Building Schools for the Future Initiative will be used to rebuild and refurbish 10 city schools.