Although some individual private schools are still eager to get involved in the scheme, the idea of the HMC itself running a school was dropped.
A contributory factor in this decision may have been the discovery that a possible partner in the new venture was none other than Armitage Shanks, the world's most famous purveyor of toilets.
An HMC source asked: "Was this to be the first ever bog-standard independent school? After the first flush of enthusiasm, members lost interest. It was a flash in the pan."