A teacher has shown her support for a schoolgirl and her family who are facing deportation, saying she will help "form a human chain around her if we need to".

Ann Bashir, from Sudan, is a student at Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove. She arrived in the UK in 2020 after fleeing her home country amid fears of persecution.

Along with her sister and mother, Ann settled into British life quickly. She joined the secondary in September of that year, taking part in lessons with her classmates in year 9.

The Argus: Ann Bashir and her fatherAnn Bashir and her father (Image: Supplied)

Among those teaching her was her pastoral and progress leader Georgia Neale, whose work is dedicated to ensuring pupils' wellbeing.

Georgia, who is also an English teacher, said: "Ann is a remarkable young woman.

"Despite the challenges she has faced, she has got on with her everyday life.

"She turns up to school every day with a smile on her face. Her attendance is nearly at 100 per cent, and she goes to every mock exam in the run up to her GCSEs."

Ann is studying for her GCSEs including english, science, photography, business, and health and social care.

"She is doing really well," Georgia said. She's passing every subject and is really hard working at the same time.

"When Ann came to England, she didn't know much English - And now she is doing both the language and literature exams." Georgia said.

The Argus: Georgia delivered a speech on Tuesday at a vigil for AnnGeorgia delivered a speech on Tuesday at a vigil for Ann (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Ann and her family applied for asylum here amid fears they could be killed or imprisoned if they returned to Sudan due to their religion and political beliefs.

Since they left the country, nobody in her family has been able to make contact with her father, who is presumed dead or imprisoned after attending anti-government protests in the African nation.

Their asylum claim was rejected by the Home Office, who said they are "not satisfied" that their fear of persecution was "well-founded".

Georgia added: "She's got an amazing circle of friends around her, and so does her sister who goes to Brighton University.

"They have made a life here that is really admirable, despite coming to the country with absolutely nothing.

"They left Sudan with a fear they could be really hurt, and that fear has become a reality once again."

The asylum application was rejected in November 2022 but the school did not become fully aware of this until just a matter of weeks ago.

Georgia said: "When I found out, I felt angry. I felt angry with the way she was treated, and that she suffered in silence for so long.

"And now I feel desperate.

"I will be as loud as I have to be to make sure that she remains in a safe place

"And I don’t believe Sudan to be a safe place.

"Nobody goes into teaching to get a paycheque at the end of the month. We go into teaching to make children’s lives better, and this is the most simple version of that."

Georgia said she has spent "every waking hour fighting for Ann".

A total of 24 student leaders, or house captains, from across year groups who represent the pupils in the wider community, are supporting Ann.

Along with Georgia, they have set up a campaign to raise awareness of Ann's situation, including at a vigil held on Tuesday evening in the school.

Georgia added: "Really, the house captains are leading this.

"They have come together, and organised something amazing to help her. They've reached out to over 70 politicians and organisations, and spread the word to thousands of people who have signed our petition."

With the Easter holidays coming up in the first week of April, Georgia fears that immigration enforcement could use this opportunity to deport Ann and her family when they will all be at home, now over 50 miles away after being moved to London.

"This is a time when when she is going to be forcibly living in Tower Hamlets, and not around her community - where they could come to help her and the family.

"There is no time frame, so it could be tomorrow or in six weeks' time. We will form a human chain around her if we need to.

"She is adding so much to our community and yet her basic human right of safety is being denied." Georgia said.

"We won't let her go.".