Police equipped with cameras had to be called after scores of children ran wild on their last day at school.

People living close to Priory School in Lewes watched in horror as Year 11 pupils hurled paint, flour and eggs at them and passing cars.

The teenagers also swore at teachers and younger pupils.

Teachers called police and officers arrived in vans to film the GCSE students misbehaving in the playground and around the school in Mountfield Road.

Eventually head teacher Tony Smith sent a “significant” proportion of the 15 and 16-year-olds home and cancelled the celebration the school had planned for the next day for them.

Writing on an internet forum one parent said: “Almost all the year 11 were sent home from school for the high jinks.

“Apparently there was some swearing, egg throwing, flour and paint thrown in the quad and other outside areas.

“The head has sent several emails to parents regarding the behaviour of the students and the expectations of the school.”

A neighbour said: “They were throwing things at passing cars and members of the public at the end of Mountfield Road – it was not fun and not harmless.”

Another person added: “Swearing at and abusing teachers and pupils is not ‘high jinks’ it’s just offensive, rude and disrespectful.”

Head teacher Mr Smith said: “Traditionally, on the last Wednesday before the end of the year, the pupils march to school.

“Previously there has been trouble but last year went very well and we thought we had changed the culture.

“Unfortunately this year a significant number of Year 11 pupils had to be sent home.

“They threw coloured powder and water around the school and would not move.

“There were also eggs thrown and, unfortunately, poor language was used.

“They were over-excited and so were sent home.

“Those that had exams were told to tidy up and do their exams.

“It is such a shame this happened.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “We were called after a report of misbehaviour by some students at the school and immediately outside it.

“Local officers attended but no police action was necessary.”