Inspectors have condemned one of Tony Blair's multi-million pound city academies, 12 months after it became the first of the flagship schools to be failed by Ofsted.

Truancy, poor teaching, inappropriate buildings, and "exceptionally low" results meant Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough had made "inadequate progress" since March 2005, inspectors said.

Under the Prime Minister's education reforms, failing schools which do not improve within a year will face being closed down and replaced by a city academy.

The school's new chief executive, David Triggs - brought in by the Department for Education - said such a 12-month deadline would be virtually "impossible" for schools in Unity's position.

"While I can understand the Government wishing to get tougher - and rightly so - every school has a different context," said Mr Triggs.

"Schools like Unity are in very challenging circumstances circumstances.

"You have to be realistic. To turn a school like that round in 12 months is, I believe, nigh-on impossible."

Sponsored by business support services firm Amey, Unity opened in 2002 and teaches about 1,200 11-16 year-olds.

The academy was one of the first schools to open as part of the Government's £5 billion programme for transforming failing comprehensives with private sector cash.