Police are appealing to anyone who was in the Halsford Lane area of East Grinstead on Monday morning (November 4).
At 9.10am a 15-year-old girl was walking alone to Imberhorne School along a footpath between Halsford Lane and a recreation ground on Imberhorne Lane, opposite the school.
As she walked, she was grabbed from behind and pushed to the floor by a man.
She managed to scream and kick out at the man and he ran off. She went home and told her mum who reported it to the police. She was unhurt but extremely shaken.
The suspect is described a white, around 50-years-old and about 5ft 11in, of medium build and with brown hair. She was unable to described what he was wearing.
Inspector Paul Tomlinson said: “The teenager was walking to school when the man grabbed her from behind, so it was a busy time of the morning. Did you see a man acting suspiciously in the area or running away from where the attack happened? Thankfully she was unhurt and it was unclear what his motive was, however this was a very scary experience for this girl. We have stepped up our patrols in the area and talking to everyone we can to find the suspect.
“If you have any information which would help us with our enquiries, please contact us on 101 or email email@example.com quoting serial 570 of 4/11. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”