Fashion designer Jasper Conran has pulled out of a plan to sponsor a flagship City Academy specialising in design.
The multimillionaire said earlier this year that he wanted to provide £2 million of private sponsorship to set up an academy in north-east London, replacing the existing McEntee School.
But after conducting a 'feasibility study', Conran decided to withdraw because the project would involve closing an existing school, a spokeswoman said.
In return for providing £2 million towards the development, private sponsors receive considerable control over the ethos of the new school and the way it is run.
The Department for Education and Skills said it was now looking for a new sponsor for the project. 'With Jasper Conran and the London Borough of Waltham Forest, we have been considering the feasibility of developing an academy school as a replacement for McEntee School, ' a spokeswoman said.
'Conran has now concluded that his vision can best be realised by developing an entirely new school on a site that does not involve the closure of an existing one, ' she added.