A "ground-breaking" #1 billion plan to modernise every secondary school in Birmingham was given the green light by Ministers yesterday.
The drive will see outdated and dilapidated buildings torn down and rebuilt or refurbished at all 76 of the city's secondaries over the next 15 years.
Controversially, however, the Government also gave the go-ahead for the authority's proposals to build seven "independent" city academies backed by private sponsors.
Council chiefs last night hailed the announcement to transform every school as "fantastic" while one headteacher said it represented an "opportunity to really transform secondary education".
But a teaching union warned the new academies would create a "two-tier" education system within Birmingham.
Last night council leader Mike Whitby dubbed the #1 billion investment a "massive achievement for the city".
"It is fantastic news for children, young people and their families and everyone in the city as it means we can look forward to a future generation of inspired learners to ensure Birmingham becomes a leading international city."
Birmingham's cabinet member for education Coun Les Lawrence (Con North-field) said pupils in the city would see an "education revolution unlike any previous generation".
The authority's director for children and families Tony Howell added: "We are delighted that the Government has given us the green light to take this transformation agenda forward."
The first ten schools to be transformed by 2008 are: Holte, Waverley, Four Dwellings, Park View, Broadway, Moseley, George Dixon International, The International School, Stockland Green and Saltley. A further five phases of development will follow with the most run-down schools prioritised.
Sir Robert Dowling, head of George Dixon in Edgbaston, said: "It will make a huge difference to us. One of our buildings is 130 years old and is a cold place in the winter. We will now have a school for the 21st century."
Sir Robert said he hoped to see a new community centre, sports hall and vocational training facility built on the site.
"If the city gets this right, it will really transform secondary education," he added.
The authority also welcomed approval for the seven "Birmingham academies" - customised versions of Tony Blair's flagship solution to failing schools.
Coun Lawrence said: "Academies will represent a significant part of the transforming secondary education agenda in the city."
The authority claims its proposals remove some of the more controversial aspects of the programme, such as allowing academies to control admissions and sponsors gaining influence over the curriculum.
Sir Bruce Liddington, the civil servant responsible for delivering the academies programme, described them as "exciting" and "consistent" with Whitehall's aims.
But Brian Carter, regional secretary of the National Union of Teachers, claimed they would be bad for the city.
"This will lead to a two-tier system in the city where academies, and not the parents, will choose who goes to their institutions. It will have an adverse affect on the make-up of the other schools. The academies will be islands within the city."
The authority will now have to submit a detailed business case for the work to be carried out on its schools.