PUPILS at a York school gutted by fire will not return to lessons until a week next Monday.

But City of York Council is hoping to organise out-of-school activities next week for the 896 students of York High School, which is situated in the former Lowfield School.

Pete Dwyer, Director of Learning, Culture and Children’s Services said the authority and York High staff had been working through today to deal with the consequences of the fire, which destroyed the central block of the school housing art, science, IT and administration rooms.

“The extent of the damage is highly significant and as a result the school will be closed next week,” he said. “The school building has now been made safe and security arrangements for the site are in place.

“Despite the scale of the challenge we are aiming to get all the school’s 896 pupils back into education from Monday October 13.”

He said details of alternative arrangements to reduce disruption to children would be announced next week.

“In recognition of the unexpected pressure this places on families next week, the council and the school are working to offer some form of non compulsory out of school activities provision next week. We recognise this is no substitute for full time education but are confident parents and young people understand the exceptional circumstances we face.”

He said a year 7 residential visit to the North Yorkshire Moors next week would go ahead as arranged, with pupils asked to meet at Oaklands Sports centre at 9.30am on Monday.

“The exchange visit to Holland leaving on Tuesday will also go ahead as originally planned. The year 11 parents evening scheduled for next Tuesday has however been postponed.”

He added that as much information as possible would be made available via the council’s website at www.york.gov.uk and through the media and he asked parents to keep an eye on local newspapers for further updates.