Parents have backed a Darlington school’s decision to ban a pupil from its prom after failing to reach the number of points needed to be invited.

A Darlington dad hit back at Polam Hall School this week after his daughter was banned from the prom after he paid for her ticket and dress.

Matthew Grainger, 51, told The Northern Echo that his daughter, Lillie, 16, believed she had reached the 500 points needed to attend but says she had points taken away from her after a day off ill and is now eight-and-a-half points short.

The school requires students to earn 500 points to be invited and says it awards points for ‘attending study club and tutoring sessions, attendance and punctuality’.

But the school principal Kate Reid disputed the claims, saying points were only removed for ‘negative behaviour incidents’.

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Reacting to the story, some people online backed the school’s decision.

One Facebook user said: “If the said child has been causing issues and has not adhered to rules put in place then why should that child be rewarded?”

Another said: “It clearly says ‘points were only lost for negative behaviour incidents’. If every child started on 500 points, had ample amounts of opportunity to increase the points and then they only take points away for bad behaviour, I can't see how the school is in the wrong.”

While one person commented: “I agree with the school it goes on behaviour. Our school have clicks they know they have to have to go to the prom.”

Mrs Kate Reid, Principal of Polam Hall School told The Northern Echo: “Our prom is a school event, which takes place on school grounds and is supervised by school staff.

“All Year 11 students and parents were first informed in November that they would need 500 points to attend prom.

“The students began the year with 500 points to give them the best possible chance of attending and there have been regular updates for both students and parents throughout the spring and summer terms.

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“Students have been able to increase their reward points in many ways, including attending study club and tutoring sessions; attendance and punctuality to both school and lessons and maintaining and increasing their average Attitude to Learning Grades.

“Points were only lost for negative behaviour incidents.

“The school cannot comment on an individual student’s record, but it is not the case that any student had points removed for poor attendance.

“Refunds have already been given to parents who had paid for a prom ticket in advance.”


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