One of the first new National Challenge academies will merge three Lincolnshire secondary moderns to create a huge new 2,400-pupil school.
The scheme will, in effect, pull tiny Aveland High out of the underperforming category and over the GCSE benchmark - whether results continue to improve or not.
The 300-pupil school in Billingborough, where 24 per cent gained five good GCSE passes, is already federated with Cotelands School in Ruskington, and St George's College of Technology in Sleaford, under executive head Paul Watson.
The three separate sites will initially remain when they are formally merged to create Sleaford Academy. But because all three sets of GCSE results will be treated as one and the 1,700-pupil St George's College already has 55 per cent achieving the benchmark, Aveland's results would most likely be cancelled out, even if they failed to improve.