The above photograph was taken from the footbridge over the A52. The smoke was easily seen from Bramcote (west) and Stapleford.
Dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze at Harrington Junior School, in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, which broke out at about 12:10 BST.
Two firefighters were taken to hospital but their injuries are not serious.
In a statement, the school said there were no pupils in the building at the time but staff had been left “heartbroken” by the blaze.
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said everyone was “safe and accounted for”.
You can read more on the BBC News channel.