Jeremy Malim taught at the Brambletye Preparatory School near East Grinstead from 1975 to 2002 when he was suspended following accusations of indecent sexual assault.
The 73-year-old used his position as a French teacher to “groom” boys aged between nine and 13 at the school.
He was found guilty of six charges of indecent assault after a trial at Hove Crown Court and was sentenced to six years in prison by Judge Paul Tain.
Ryan Richter, prosecuting, said Malim used his popularity as a teacher to abuse boys in his care.
“The victims described how the defendant had singled them out as ‘favourites’, paying them more attention than their classmates with his tactile behaviour turning to abuse,” he said.
He was previously on trial at Oxford Crown Court in 2003 when two former pupils made allegations but the case was dropped by a judge who was concerned about the length of time that had passed since the incidents.
But after a change in the law, further allegations from three former pupils were brought to Sussex Police in 2014.
The first victim was a boy who was abused between 1978 and 1979, the second was abused between 1977 and 1979, and the third from 1996 to 1999.
If you, or a loved one, have been affected by sexual abuse, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers who will be happy to speak to you about whether it may be possible to bring an abuse claim.
"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."