A school is counting the cost of an arson attack which gutted a common room.

John Ewart, school business manager at The Grove School, Darwell Close, St Leonards, said yesterday surveyors had estimated the cost of the damage at between £80,000 and £100,000.

The sixth-form common room was set alight on New Year's Eve.

Mr Ewart said: "Police and fire officers have been sifting through looking for evidence.

"The clean-up operation starts on Monday."

Headteacher Paul Martin has vowed the school will be open on Monday.

Detective Constable Roy Stephenson is leading the investigation into the blaze. Anyone with information is asked to call him on 0845 6070999, ext 60269.