Birmingham is expected to finally break a veil of secrecy surrounding its academy schools programme this week.
The authority said it would be making a "major announcement" on Thursday at which it is anticipated sponsors will be revealed.
Under the controversial drive, seven city secondaries will come out of local authority control to be placed in the hands of private backers in return for £2 million.
Critics claim education chiefs are struggling to find sponsors willing to fork out the cash.
Only two have been confirmed since the plan was announced at the end of 2005, but the authority has remained tight-lipped over their identity.
Yesterday, The Birmingham Post revealed a charity called the British Edutrust Foundation is likely to be named as one of the backers this week.
Speculation is also growing that Birmingham's King Edward's Foundation, which includes two fee-paying and five grammars, is set to be revealed as the other.
Last night the Foundation confirmed it was considering the "feasibility of taking part in the academy programme in Birmingham".
However, in a statement, it added: "We are not in a position to provide financial sponsorship so our participation is conditional upon identifying a suitable partner or partners willing to invest the £2 million required.
"Only then could governors begin negotiations with the Department for Education and Skills and local authority."
The seven schools earmarked to become academies 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 in Edgbaston.
Schools Minister Andrew Adonis - chief architect of the academy programme - will be in Birmingham on Thursday for the announcement.
The Government insists the drive is the best way to inject fresh life into struggling secondaries. It involves removing them from local authority control and handing them over to an independent backer.
But critics claim it will create inequality among schools and allow non-educational organisations to gain influence over children's learning.
Birmingham City Council crated an adapted version of the drive involving multiple backers to prevent any single sponsor gaining control.
But with only two sponsors secured, questions have been raised over its ability to deliver on the original vision.
Roger King, head of the Birmingham branch of the National Union of Teachers, said: "The authority is absolutely struggling to get sponsors to come forward."