Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for a new secondary school to be built following a devastating fire.

The governors at Tideway School in Southdown Road, Newhaven, collected 3,000 signatures during the summer following the blaze there in April.

money has already helped the school reopen for the autumn term with new technology accommodation.

Three new design technology rooms have been installed and other rooms, including laboratories and a library, have been refurbished.

However, there are growing public calls for East Sussex County Council to help press for a new replacement school on the same site.

Headteacher Adrian Money said: "It is amazing what can be done in such a short period of time. We now have the specialist accommodation we need to deliver a full curriculum.

"I feel we now have the accommodation as good as it can be for the time being. The next step is to decide how to use the money we have available to rebuild the school.

"My preference is still for a brand new school on the same site as, in my view, this is the best option and will minimise further disruption to learning.

"The 3,000 signatures governors have collected over the summer show there is a lot of support for a new school in the local community."

The fire burnt out dozens of classrooms, the main hall, library and administrative offices.

A 16-year-old youth from Newhaven was charged with arson but cleared earlier this month following a trial at Lewes Crown Court.

Detectives are to reinvestigate the blaze to establish whether any further clues surfaced as a result of the trial.

In the meantime, public pressure is building for a new school.

The petition read: "We believe that a completely new school for Tideway will be in the best interests of our young people now and in the future.

"We support the headteacher, Adrian Money, in his call for a new school which has already been endorsed by the school governors and Newhaven Town Council.

"We call upon East Sussex County Council, the Government and all relevant agencies to support the campaign for a new school and will work with the whole community to help achieve this objective."