Hertswood School has taken the first step to becoming a specialist arts school, having successfully completed its application to the Government.

With £50,000 funding secured from private and charitable trust sponsorship and local firms including Pinnacle Insurance, the school's dream to attain designated specialist arts status, could soon be achieved.

If all goes to plan, the school, in Cowley Hill, will be assessed by the Department for Education and Skills before the end of this year.

Headteacher Ian Lucas said: "My staff and pupils have been working exceptionally hard to reach the highest possible levels of attainment in arts education alongside the core curriculum subjects.

"If our bid to become a specialist arts school is ultimately successful, then the whole community will benefit as we will receive significant funding to improve our facilities, which will be available for use across many community groups."

If arts status is approved, the school will receive £100,000 in Government grants - allowing construction of additional facilities including a new dance studio - and an extra £600,000 over the following four years.

Assistant headteacher Andy Stainton said: "We are very grateful to the sponsors - this would not have been possible without local support."

Chris Mills, Joint Managing Director of Pinnacle Insurance, based in Elstree Way, said: "As a company, Pinnacle is dedicated to this community and backing Hertswood's bid fits very much into our company ethos."

The only secondary school in Borehamwood, Hertswood School has been open for just over four years and was formed to replace Hillside and Hawksmoor Schools during a shake-up of the town's primary and secondary schools.