Millions of pounds intended for disabled pupils is to be redirected to pay for urgent repairs to a crumbling school in Walsall.
Education chiefs in the borough say they have been left no choice after the Government refused to fund the work at Joseph Leckie Community Technology College.
Instead, it has granted the authority "special" permission to utilise £12 million public money given to rebuild two special schools - Mary Elliott Special School and Daw End.
Half of that is already earmarked for Mary Elliott, so the authority says it has no alternative but to divert some of the cash intended for Daw End into Joseph Leckie.
Council chiefs said the cash injection still falls drastically short of the £25 million needed to rebuild Joseph Leckie, which hit the headlines this autumn after pupils handed Ministers a DVD highlighting falling masonry and rats.
Eddie Hughes, cabinet member for children's services, said: "As I have stated before I am delighted that the Government has allocated £12 million for Walsall schools. This money will provide a much needed new special school able to provide a 21st Century learning environment.
"But I am disappointed that the Government did not agree to release the resources for Joseph Leckie to be rebuilt.
"We really need £25 million for a new secondary school and it may be 2011 until this money may come available. We are still consulting with Daw End and Joseph Leckie on the best way forward."
Pupils at Joseph Leckie claimed it was only a matter of time before someone was killed by falling masonry at their school.
Earlier this year, one pupil was struck by a concrete sill that fell off the 66-year-old building. Pupils also complain the school is so short of space they were forced to eat their lunch in the toilet.
Others spent English lessons writing to the Education Secretary pleading for a new school.
The Government's Building Schools for the Future drive has pledged to rebuild or refurbish every secondary in the country. But Joseph Leckie has been told it will not get any cash under the drive until 2011.
Schools Minister Lord Adonis was confronted by a group of pupils from the school during a Ministerial visit to Birmingham in September.
He promised to launch an inquiry after being handed a letter and the DVD by the youngsters.
The Government's response was to give the school flexibility over the £12 million from the Department for Education and Skills to upgrade facilities for disabled children at two special schools.
That money was awarded from a £1 billion Government funding pot.
Mary Elliott Special School on Brewer Street, which caters for children with "severe and profound" disabilities, is to be rebuilt to cater for 110 secondary-aged pupils.
Liz Jordan, headteacher at Mary Elliott School, said: "We are absolutely delighted at this news and we can't wait for our new school to be built."
A fresh bid to secure funds for Joseph Leckie is likely in the New Year.