Seevic college's principal has released a statement after a body was found in a car fire at the campus last night.

Police have confirmed this morning that the body is that of a man in his 40s who is believed to live locally.

No formal identification has yet taken place and the coroner will be informed.

The college, in Kiln Road, Thundersley, was on lockdown after firefighters discovered the body inside the car which was ablaze on the campus forecourt.

This morning, Principal Nick Spenceley said: “I would like to express my deep sympathy for the family and friends affected by this tragic incident. At around 5pm yesterday evening a car drove in to the College car park, after lessons had ended, and shortly afterwards caught fire.

"Myself and several staff members were on the scene within 30 seconds, and the fire and ambulance services arrived within minutes. Sadly an individual, who has yet to be named by the police, lost their life. No college students or staff are believed to have been involved and, as far as I am aware, the individual had no connection with Seevic College."

Mr Spenceley said the college would be open as usual.

He said: “The car park has now been cleared, and last night I took the decision that the college would be open as normal today. I encourage students to attend if they can, and the college will be holding a minute’s silence at 10am this morning as a mark of respect.

"The college is a close community and I feel it is best for students to be together and to continue with their learning. College staff will be available throughout the day and in the weeks ahead to support students with any concerns they may have following the incident.”