A Christian school which led the chase to opt in from the private sector will have to close because the Government's is refusing it funding.
Despite an initiative two years ago asking religious groups to set up their own grant maintained schools, the Department for Education and Employment has so far turned down all applicants.
Now it has told the Oak Hill Trust that its efforts to set up a Christian secondary school in Bradley Stoke near Bristol will not get Government backing because there is no need for extra school places locally.
This is despite the support the school had enjoyed from former Education Secretary John Patten and from Christian campaigners.
The Trust has announced that the lack of funding means the existing Oak Hill School, which would have been absorbed in the project, will shut at the end of this academic year.
Its Schools Development Officer, Gary Prosser said: "The whole thing has been dragged out over 14 months. We're angry because we feel we were never taken seriously.