The school was designated as a specialist music college by the Department for Education in 2005. In order to achieve this status the school had to raise £50,000 along with a detailed plan for promoting the development of music across the school and in the wider community. In return the school received £100,000 for capital funding and an annual grant to support the programme. The funds were used to build a dedicated music suite with fully equipped classrooms, practice rooms and a state of the art recording studio.
In 2010 the Coalition Government stopped the specialist schools programme and devolved the money to schools. Hinchley Wood School is still committed to the programme and has continued to fund and develop new opportunities for students in and outside the classroom.
In addition to the obvious benefits of providing students with an exceptional learning environment, there is a well developed community programme offering music workshops, adult group lessons, ICT courses and rehearsal facilities for both student and locally based bands and groups.
The school forges links with a wide range of organisations such as the Royal College of Music and schools in other countries. Students also have the opportunity to broaden their musical experiences abroad, such as a music tour every other year; these have included Barcelona, Vienna, where students performed at various public venues, and the ultimate jazz city, New Orleans.