A charity that helps HIV victims in South Africa and rescues children from Eastern European orphanages is to sponsor two of Birmingham's new academy schools.
Ark is to provide financial support to St Albans School and Harborne Hill under the controversial programme in which private backers take control of state schools.
Under arrangements set to be revealed by Birmingham City Council tomorrow, Ark will pay £1.5 million to rebuild the schools - a reduction on the £2 million each usually required.
Ark - Absolute Return for Kids - is an international charity chaired by financier and hedge fund millionaire Arpad Busson.
A partnership of local businesses and universities, believed to involve Birmingham and Aston, are expected to team up with the organisation to help boost standards.
Birmingham wants to turn seven secondaries into academies. They are The Heartlands High in Nechells, The College High, Erdington, Kings Norton High, St Albans, Highgate, Sheldon Heath, Shenley Court, Selly Oak and Harborne Hill, Edgbaston.
Earlier this week The Birmingham Post revealed that the British Edutrust Foundation is to take control of Shenley Court and Heartlands High.