Children learning from home for second day after suspected arson attack at Hove school

Watch: Children back to learning from home after suspected arson attacks forces closure for second day, as Andy Dickenson reports

A secondary school in Hove has been shut for a second day following a suspected arson attack.

A blaze broke out at the Blatchington Mill School on Wednesday evening, forcing the site to close and pupils to study from home.

At its height, six fire crews attended the scene, and there were no reported injuries.

Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Cllr Bella Sankey said: "It is deeply shocking and I know everyone in our community is reeling from this.

"It is an awful thing to happen and we need to provide support to the school, we need to provide support to the community to try and heal from this, and to try and ensure that children's education does not get any further interrupted."

  • Cllr Bella Sankey spoke to ITV News Meridian about the incident

One parent, Lucy, said: "It is quite alarming and it has been a weird few days. There is a lot of uncertainty.

"We're lucky because I work from home but, for a lot of families, both parents are going out to work."

Her son Joe said: "We've been through it before with Coronavirus and that wasn't great.

"But I think with the knowledge that we have from then, it will be slightly easier.

"It's a bit of a shame because I had some tests that were coming up, but hopefully [the school] will be able to recover before then."

Thermal imaging cameras were used by crews, as they worked to put out the blaze on the ground floor of the building.

People were asked to avoid the area and to keep windows and doors closed due to the large quantity of smoke in the air.

It is hoped pupils will begin to return to class next week.

Meanwhile, police investigations are ongoing, with fire officers still checking to make sure that the building is safe to return to.

A 16-year-old girl arrested on suspicion of arson has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...