DOZENS of teenagers dressed in their finery tonight to say farewell to their school and each other at their leavers’ prom.

Darlington Education Village held its year 11 formal ball at the recently refurbished, historic Walworth Castle Hotel, which dates from 1189.

The 76 former pupils who attended the prom dressed in black tie, cocktail dresses and ball gowns, with many arriving by limousine, and were treated to a two-course dinner followed by a disco.

The school also organised an awards ceremony to recognise academic, pastoral and sporting excellence, as well as a fun prize-giving to celebrate personality and character.

Prizes included i-Pod shuffles, a Sony PSP games console and cash.

There was also a raffle to give pupils the chance to win back the money for their tickets.

The prom follows a school leavers’ barbecue, which was held after the last GCSE exam, for pupils who wanted to less formal chance to say goodbye.

Jamie Bettney, head of year 11, said the pupils had been looking forward to their prom.

“We have used this as a reward programme for pupils, and some students were given conditions regarding improvements in behaviour or attendance to allow them to attend the prom,” he said.

“Most of them have met these conditions, which is excellent, and the parents have been very supportive of this.

“The pupils have been very excited about the prom and have really been looking forward to it.”

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