Teachers and staff at the school of teacher Jane Longhurst have created an award in her memory.

The Jane Longhurst Expressive Arts Award was presented by Jane's mother Liz at Uplands School's first awards afternoon to the school dance team yesterday.

Jane disappeared from her home in Shaftesbury Road, Brighton, in March. Her burning body was discovered more than a month later in an RSPB reserve at Wiggonholt Common, near Pulborough.

It is hoped the award will become a lasting tribute to the 31-year-old, who taught children with special needs at the school in Brighton.

The award, made out of African soapstone and a sculpture of an adult supporting a child will be presented to individuals or groups each term.

Jane's mother, Liz Longhurst said: "I think it's very fitting, it is a lovely award and it captures Jane's personality, her caring nature.

"I was delighted to present the award. It was a real honour to come."

Headteacher Paul Atkins said the awards afternoon, also attended by Jane's partner Malcolm Sentance, had been planned for some time but it was partly inspired by Jane and a desire to remember her.

He said: "I have spoken a lot about Jane Longhurst in the past term. We wanted to create a lasting memory, one of all her qualities she as a teacher and friend brought to this school - courage, risk taking, performance, kindness and thoughtfulness."

Mr Atkins said they did not want to have just a music award but had instead chosen a creative arts award because Jane also taught English and drama.

He said it was not the first time the school had created an award in memory of a teacher.

PE teacher Phil Whitby died of meningitis while on holiday in Prague in 1996.

Mr Atkins said: "No students here now have ever met him but we keep his memory going and we want to do the same with Jane."

Graham Coutts, 35, of Waterloo Street, Hove, has been charged with Jane's murder and is to appear at Lewes Crown Court on August 1.