FLOOD damage at a leading North Yorkshire school will cost tens of thousands of pounds to put right.

Easingwold Secondary School remained closed today after flash floods swamped classrooms, causing thousands of pounds-worth of damage to computer equipment.

The 1,355 pupils at the school have been told to stay at home while the clean-up operation continues, after the flooding occurred following a thunderstorm last Thursday night.

Assistant head teacher John Butcher said a total cost had yet to be put on the damage, but carpets in classrooms and corridors had to be ripped up and disinfected before the school could reopen.

About 30 computers and printers in the school's IT suit were ruined by the water, and will have to be replaced.

Maintenance and teaching staff are working flat out to make sure the school reopens as quickly as possible. Mr Butcher hoped they could reopen tomorrow, but there were no guarantees.

The flooding occurred after a heavy downpour at 5.30pm on Thursday caused water to run off a tennis court at the back of the school and in to the building, leaving classrooms and staffrooms under several inches of water.

Drains were put in on the tennis court after the last flood in 2000, but Mr Butcher said on this occasion the large amount of rain in such a short time meant they were overwhelmed.

The closure has forced staff to postpone the school sports day, which was meant to be held today.

Mr Butcher said: "We are obviously very concerned about the disruption to the education of the students and everybody is working as hard as possible to make the site safe and useable again for everybody.

"The caretakers and cleaners have been absolutely fantastic pulling together and done extra work - there has been a real Dunkirk spirit about the whole thing."

Messages have been sent out to parents and posters have been put up in local towns and villages warning people of the school closure.

In last year's GCSE and GNVQ exams the school ranked 18th out of 48 schools in North Yorkshire in the league tables.

It was 22nd out of 35 schools for A and AS level.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: "We are carrying out a full investigation into the flooding, and producing a report in due course on what measures need to be taken to ensure that there isn't a repeat of this situation."

Updated: 10:52 Wednesday, July 06, 2005