A YORK school is praying for the safe return of a trainee teacher who has been missing for more than a week.

It has emerged that Nicholas Harper - who disappeared after leaving his home in Pickering earlier this month - has been working on a placement in Archbishop Holgate's School's science department since last September.

The school said in a parents’ newsletter: “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time and we continue to pray for his safe return.” It added that support was available for anyone affected.

Police searching for Mr Harper appealed yesterday for the owner of a silver estate car to get in touch as they may be able to assist with inquiries.

A spokeswoman said Mr Harper's car was found at Cowhouse Wood, Helmsley, and the estate car was believed to have been parked nearby on the morning he went missing.

“It may be that the driver has seen or heard something which may assist with the investigation,” she said, adding that anyone with information should phone 101, quoting reference number 12190023491.

She also revealed that information about Mr Harper had been circulated to other forces, including West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Humberside, Durham and Cleveland.