‘They’ve had to go through the stress of their GCSEs to now be told they can’t have a prom’
A mum-of-four from Crewe has slammed her children’s school for not putting on a prom for their Year 11 pupils this year. Kirsty Brautigam-Smith, 37, has complained to The Oaks Academy on Buchan Grove after learning the event would not be held.
Instead the school is taking the children on a residential in Wales, which will be followed by a week of activities, ending in a ‘Year 11 Oaksfest’ celebration and farewell on their final day. The activities have been funded through the National Citizenship Service (NCS) and provided at no cost to the parents.
But Kirsty, whose daughter Abi is currently in Year 11, said It wasn’t the same as a traditional prom, adding that her daughter and some of the other children have been left upset by the decision, especially as friends at other schools will have one. The 37-year-old said it was particularly hard to take for the pupils following the reduced social interaction with their schoolfriends during the pandemic.
She said: “They’ve done the NCS (residential) every single year and every single year it’s been free for our children to go. The other schools have to pay but for The Oaks it’s always been free.
“So to me, that isn’t an excuse. They said you won’t find another school that offers it free but we wouldn’t have moaned about paying for it. Just because it’s free, it shouldn’t mean that the kids shouldn’t get a prom.”
She said her daughter was disappointed at the news, adding: “Knowing that it’s the last time she would see her friends and be allowed to let her hair down, she is a bit gutted about it. She said she wouldn’t have minded if they didn’t book somewhere posh – like they could’ve just done it in the school hall. They could’ve done something.
“There’s only about 60 kids. The school always says it’s the smallest year they’ve ever had, so it wouldn’t exactly cost a lot to put something on.”
She said the parents wouldn’t have minded contributing towards the cost: “I paid for my son’s prom. I wouldn’t mind doing it because it’s what the kids deserve.
“They’ve been behind on a lot of the work and they’ve had to go through the stress of their GCSEs to now be told they can’t have a prom like every other year 11 has had.
“I think they should either put on a prom or admit they’re being tight and just don’t want to pay for one. It wouldn’t cost anything to do it in their hall and we (the parents) can put money in for the food, drink and a few decorations. It’s not hard.”
In a response to Kirsty’s complaints, the school’s headteacher Peter Kingdom said they were ‘keen to ensure the year 11s have a great and memorable leavers’ celebration’.
He said: “We have organised an extensive range of activities for our students rather than a one-off traditional prom evening. All of these activities are fully funded and we are extremely grateful to the National Citizenship Service for making this possible.
“This includes a residential in Wales where students will take part in outdoor activities including zip wire, canoeing, an accredited first aid course and various water sports. We would like to reiterate that this has been provided at no cost to parents.
“Following the week in Wales students will return to school and take part in another week of activities culminating in a ‘Year 11 Oaksfest’ celebration and farewell on their final day. This will include a paint-run, inflatable challenges, and a fun photobooth. Complimentary food including an ice-cream van and barbecue will be provided for all students attending.
“We are looking forward to giving the Year 11s a really memorable celebration of their time at The Oaks Academy.”
- 16:29, 27 MAY 2022
- UPDATED17:09, 27 MAY 2022