Part of Sussex was dubbed “one of the worst behaved areas in the South East” after figures revealed thousands of school children were suspended.

Government statistics show that over 10,000 schoolchildren were suspended in East Sussex in the past five years, making it one of the most badly behaved areas in the county.

The figures ranked East Sussex and Brighton and Hove among the regions with the highest proportion of pupils excluded or suspended.

The new government figures, covering from the 2016/17 school year to the end of the 2022/23 school year, showed that 2.73 per cent of school children in East Sussex were either excluded or suspended.

Roughly 2.2 per cent of children in Brighton and Hove were excluded or suspended in the same period.

The figures ranked East Sussex as having the second highest proportion of suspended schoolchildren in the South East while Brighton and Hove was tenth in the region.


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In West Sussex, around 1.45 per cent of children were suspended or excluded.

Education solicitors IBB Law say the most common reason for expulsion in East Sussex was physical abuse of pupils, and persistent disruption caused the most suspensions.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “All schools and academies in East Sussex work hard to support young people to be successful at school. Across the county, we work with school and trust leaders to ensure that all children are included at school.

“Most schools and academies in East Sussex strive to minimise the number of suspensions and exclusions, and permanently excluding a child is usually a last resort after other options have been exhausted.

“The local authority is disappointed that exclusion and suspension rates have risen, and this is especially challenging in the east of the county. We are concerned that this will reduce the life chances for some of our most vulnerable children and young people.

“We are working with schools and academies to improve the offer of alternative provision for young people and ensure that early intervention is in place to prevent problems from escalating. A strong partnership between schools, academy trusts and their families is central to children’s success at school.

“The local authority and its support services play a key role in supporting schools and their communities, alongside the Department for Education and other agencies such as health.”