STAFF and pupils at Mount Carmel High School, Accrington, are celebrating after winning specialist science college status.
The Department for Education and Skills announced on Tuesday that the Wordsworth Road school had succeeded in its bid.
It means the school will now benefit from an extra £100,000 to develop its science facilities, including providing equipment and specialist teaching in science, maths and IT.
The successful bid is the result of more than a year of hard work by staff, pupils and parents to raise the £50,000 needed before it could be considered. A detailed development plan also had to be put together.
At least half of the sponsorship money had to come from local businesses and a number of events were held to raise the remaining £25,000 - including selling a football ticket for a record-breaking £10,000 in February.
Headteacher Kat-rina Ryan thanked everyone who had supported the school's bid, including businessman Kevin Horkin and former Hyndburn MP Ken Hargreaves.
She said: "I am absolutely delighted that Mount Carmel has been designated as a specialist science college by the Secretary of State. It represents the united efforts of governors, staff, students and friends of the school. This is indeed a landmark in the history of the school and the culmination of five years of hard work in driving up standards at Mount Carmel. We will continue to offer the highest-quality Catholic education in all areas of the curriculum as we embark upon our next phase of development. This achievement will not only benefit the school but will have a significant impact on lifelong learning opportunities for the community in this area of Hyndburn."
Mount Carmel joins the Hollins Technology College as the only schools in the borough to have specialist status, although two other Hyndburn schools have recently launched bids of their own.
Rhyddings High School in Oswaldtwistle is hoping to win business and enterprise status, while Norden High School in Rishton is bidding for sports college status.
County Councillor Alan Whittaker, Cabinet member for education, said: "Mount Carmel has already got a reputation for its strength in science and this success will further enhance that strength. The county council believes that each child is different and development of specialist colleges will allow maximum development of their potential."