Business leaders yesterday indicated they were ready to support plans to create seven city academies in Birmingham.
The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it believed there were long-term benefits to be had in the city if the plan was given the go-ahead.
The business lobby group is calling on its members to attend a meeting at the Council House next month at which the authority will urge local firms to consider sponsoring the schools. City education chiefs are locked in talks with the Government to set up the seven academies.
The flagship policy of Tony Blair has been heavily criticised by some because it allows private businesses to take control of schools by becoming a financial sponsor.
Academies, designed to replace failing urban schools, also control their own admissions and teachers' pay.
Kasia Kurowska, chamber policy officer, said: "If it goes through it is a great opportunity for businesses to really get involved in schools and develop the skills needed in Birmingham.
"We are supporting the proposals initially. The invitation to businesses has only just gone out so we are yet to see the response to that. If our members come out against it we may have to change our position."
Under the city academy programme, failing schools are knocked down and replaced with a £25 million new centre in a bid to put their troubled past behind.
A private firm, individual or charity body sponsors the rebuild to the tune of £2 million and in return gains control over the school's governing body.
Critics claim this opens the door for organisations that have nothing to do with education to gain undue influence over the education of youngsters. They also maintain control over admissions may work against children from low income families.
Nigel Baker, deputy general secretary of the Birmingham NUT, said: "There is always a question mark about private companies in schools because there is the possibility that they are doing it for their own benefit.
"These companies may well be expert in what they do. But I wouldn't expect a head teacher to go in to Cadbury or Findus or any other company and tell them what to do.
"What makes them feel they know how to run schools? It is not the same as producing chocolate or fish fingers."
Birmingham has put forward an adapted version of the academy model in which the authority retains power over admissions and pay, and no single sponsor is allowed to take control.
The Department for Education and Skills has yet to approve the proposals, but writing in The Birmingham Post recently Schools Minister Lord Adonis gave a clear indication he supported them.
Earlier this week Mr Blair championed Shropshire's Thomas Telford School - a city technology college and fore-runner of the academy programme which topped this year's league tables for the proportion of pupils gaining at least five good GCSEs.