A YORK school is aiming to be top of the pops for performing arts.

Canon Lee School at Rawcliffe, York, is campaigning to become a specialist school, focusing on drama, music and dance.

The school has decided to go for special status to develop its strengths in the arts arena.

Headmaster Kevin Deadman said: "We are just beginning our bid to gain this specialist status, we feel this is an area we are very strong on.

"We are a successful school with many strengths, and now want to develop both for our students and for the community." The school is now beginning its fundraising efforts to raise £50,000 to gain the award. If the bid is successful, that figure will be matched by £100,000 from the government to fund the school conversion.

"If we get the specialist status the money will be spent on developing our theatre space and drama studio, and to invest in digital media," said Mr Deadman.

"We don't want to become a Fame Academy for everyone from North Yorkshire, but we do want to offer our students, and the community, great facilities."

The fundraising has begun among local businesses, with campaigning due to start at an open-air music, drama and dance evening this summer.

Anyone interested in supporting the school's bid is asked to contact the school on 01904 560000.

Updated: 11:40 Monday, May 19, 2003