A TEENAGE girl was left in tears when her school banned her from prom despite her grandmother spending £1,000 on her look.
The 15-year-old, a student at North Durham Academy, is said to have been distraught after being told she would not be allowed to attend alongside her fellow Year 11 pupils.
Her grandmother said that three weeks ago she paid £35 for a ticket for her to go to the prom.
But her granddaughter will never get to wear her stunning baby blue prom dress, which cost £495, as well as £50 for alterations, reports Chronicle Live.
The family had become aware of the school's decision via a voicemail from the school on Monday afternoon, just two days before the event, according to the grandma.
She said: "We know she was no angel, we're aware that she's had issues at school before.
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"She can be a bit mouthy but she's dead loving and caring and she'd help anybody.
"She had fallen behind at school previously and then she came to live with me and she's really tried going to school and tried hard for her exams.
"I'm not normally one to complain but I just don't understand why the school would take the money for the ticket three weeks ago and then wait until two days before to let us know.
"They also let the good kids get their ticket for free, but if they'd been 'naughty' they had to pay for their ticket."
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But her gran explained that as well as her granddaughter being devastated that she has been excluded from prom, she has also been left almost £1,000 out of pocket.
She will be unable to return the dress and has already paid for additional costs, including hair, make-up, nails, and tanning treatments, as well as shoes, jewellery, a bag and custom-made decorations for her mum's car, which the pupil and her friend were planning to arrive to prom in.
Her grandma added: "I've got health issues but I've been working harder to get her the dress and everything she needed. Now I've got a dress hanging up in the house worth £500 which is no good whatsoever."
The grandma said she visited the school on Tuesday afternoon to ask staff why she had been excluded from the prom two days before.
She added that she was told by staff member that her granddaughter didn't meet the criteria in November and March and she will be refunded for the ticket.
The grandmother claimed that she was told by a staff member at the school on Tuesday that her granddaughter had been told around six weeks ago that she wasn't allowed to go to prom.
She added: "Why wouldn't the school send it in writing if they had said that?
"You wouldn't just tell a pupil that. I know if I asked my granddaughter she would say she hadn't been told."
But the school principal has defended the decision to exclude the pupil from the leavers prom.
North Durham Academy said Year 11 pupils had been reminded of the criteria pupils must meet to attend prom on a number of occasions throughout the year.
Principal Mark Gray, said that students had four criteria to meet – attendance to school, attendance to after school revision sessions, effort in lessons, and behaviour – which the pupil had failed to meet.
In an attempt to get answers and ask the school to reconsider the decision, the pupil's mum and grandad visited Mr Gray again.
He explained that the child did not meet the criteria and would not be allowed to attend the prom.
Mr Gray told ChronicleLive: "The grandparent acknowledged the reasons and said he understood them but simply wanted to ask if I would re-consider.
"I explained that the pupil was not able to attend Prom this year as she had not met any of the criteria shared with all Y11 students.
"I then explained that the students had been reminded of the criteria on a number of occasions throughout the year in assembly and through conversations with members of staff and that I had checked attendance at assemblies to ensure that the pupil had been present.
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"I also explained that those students who had met all of the criteria were having their ticket paid for, which I feel is a lovely gesture to recognise the many students who have got it right throughout Y11.
"Although mum and grandparent were not happy with the outcome, I feel strongly that they were satisfied that I had investigated the pupil's case thoroughly before making, what was a very tough decision."
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