The headteacher of Millais School in Horsham said he is ‘deeply shocked and saddened’ after an inferno ripped through the top floor of his school last week.
Firefighters were called the scene in Depot Road just before 3pm on Thursday March 20.
Leon Nettley has commended his pupils’ determination in the aftermath of the blaze.
He said: “We were all deeply shocked and saddened by events last Thursday but very relieved that the pupils and staff were evacuated quickly and efficiently to a point of safety.
“With the tremendous support of the police and the fire service who did a fantastic job in containing the fire and saving personal belongings/pupils work, external contractors and our own maintenance staff, we have been able to return to some sort of normality this week, albeit with a reduced number of year groups on site. We hope to be fully operational very shortly.
“On behalf of myself and the staff can I also express our immense gratitude for the level of support we have received. It has been quite exceptional, from offers of accommodation at local schools and businesses, to offers of fund raising to re-equip areas affected by the fire, and even a supply of cakes and biscuits for the staff!
“There has always been a tremendous sense of community here at the school and this event has brought that to the fore. The many words of encouragement and support from parents, ex-pupils/staff and many local organisations have made a measurable difference to everyone’s morale as we move forward.
“The pupils have responded magnificently showing great determination to carry on as normal and support each other and the staff.
“We remain very focussed on our core purpose of ensuring continuity of education for the pupils in the school, particularly all of the Year 11 students building up to their GCSE examinations this summer.”