SCHOOLS in Southampton excluded pupils for sexual misconduct on almost 100 occasions over ten years, new figures have shown.

Data from the Department for Education shows that schools in the city excluded students 95 times for sexual misconduct between 2009 and 2019, two permanently and 93 temporarily.

A total of 86 of these occurred in state-funded secondary schools and nine in primary schools with four taking place in 2018-19, the year with the latest available figures.

These were among 1,972 across the country that year and include cases of sexual abuse, sexual bullying and sexual harassment.

Now though, charity, Rape Crisis says the figures do not show the true scale of abuse with Katie Russell, national spokeswoman, adding: “We’ve known for a number of years about the high prevalence and serious impacts of sexual violence and abuse in schools.

“The Women and Equalities Select Committee published a comprehensive report into this issue with clear recommendations in 2016. No-one in the Government can claim not to have known about this situation and action clearly should have been taken.”

Southampton Test MP, Alan Whitehead has now made calls for the government to take action after students accused their establishments of not tackling a “rape culture”.

“As Rape Crisis have outlined attitudes and cultures towards sex and relationships which lead to harmful behaviour such as harassment and violence can start from a young age.

“Although we have great local charities such as Yellow Door who do great work with young people to tackle these attitudes the government must take action on this”.

A Southampton City Council spokesperson claimed that the council has made “significant progress” in reducing exclusions in the last few years.

They added: “All pupils and staff should feel safe and secure in school and sexual misconduct of any kind is completely unacceptable. Schools work hard to keep pupils safe and we will support them wherever necessary.”