THIS is the scene of devastation at York High School as fire investigators try to piece together what caused the huge blaze.

Fire brigade officers picked their way through the wreckage of the upper floor of York High School in Acomb yesterday as their investigation got under way.

Meanwhile, the school staff and council officials have been looking at a plan to try to reopen the school using temporary classrooms on the school site.

The school will remain closed for the rest of this week, but it is hoped lessons will resume next week.

The Press reported on Saturday that more than a dozen fire crews were sent to battle the flames at the school when fire broke out after 5am on Friday morning.

North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue sent 12 engines, two aerial platforms and two water bowsers to the school in Dijon Avenue, Acomb to tackle the blaze and demolition crews have been on the scene over the weekend, making the building safe.

Fire brigade group manager, Phil Whild, who was on the scene yesterday, said: “This is the first chance we have had to get inside the building to see the extent of the damage and it is still very early days to be drawing any conclusions as to how the fire started. We will be in the school building over the next couple of days carrying out enquiries.”

Station manager Roy Ashman, said they had been conducting interviews with staff to find out what happened on the night before the fire, but it was still too early to name the cause.

Head teacher David Ellis said the area devastated by fire contained IT, art, food technology and textile classrooms – subjects which are examined almost exclusively on coursework.

He said: “All our art work was totally lost, but the exam boards have procedures for dealing with exceptional circumstances like this. We are not the first school to have had a flood or a fire and we will be talking to them about the work that has been lost and we will be making every effort to ensure students are not disadvantaged in any way.”

Council leader and York High’s chairman of governors, Coun Andrew Waller, said the school and the council had been working together to form an action plan to return pupils to school next week.

He said: “I would like to put on public record my thanks as chairman of governors to everybody who has come forward over the weekend to help the school at this time including local firms like Shepherds and Portakabin in terms of helping amass temporary classrooms to help us deal with the situation.

“There have also been offers to help from the feeder primary schools.