A DAD was left furious after he splashed £550 on his daughter’s prom dress – only to be told she wasn’t allowed to attend.
Matthew Grainger, 51, was warned 16-year-old Lillie hadn’t earned enough “points” to be invited to her end of year bash.
Polam Hall School in Darlington, County Durham, requires pupils to earn a minimum 500 points to party, which students can earn by “attending study club and tutoring sessions, attendance and punctuality”.
While Lillie believed she had reached the target well in time, Matthew claimed she was stripped of points after she took a day off ill.
But Kate Reid, the school’s principal, refuted the suggestion, insisting students do not have points deducted for poor attendance.
Matthew, a railway worker from Darlington, told The Northern Echo: “When I made a £200 deposit for a dress, she hadn’t reached the target of 500 points so I got in touch with her head of year who said she wouldn’t have any problem getting there.
“When the ticket appeared on Parent Pay I took it that she had reached 500 points so paid for it and the rest of the money for the dress.
“After half term they told her she wouldn’t be going to prom because she was eight-and-a-half points short.
He added: “They are letting me pay for the ticket, pay for the dress, and the alterations, and then taking points from her. I’m about £550 out of pocket.”
Matthew said Lillie has been stressed and upset after being told she can’t go to the prom on the school’s grounds at the end of the month.
The school have promised him a full refund for her prom ticket, but the dad is yet to receive it.
Mrs Reid said: “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.
“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.”
She added: “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.”