Clowne parents organise prom for students after school decides not to host one

The community has rallied around to organise a prom for Heritage High students – after the school decided not to host one amid health and safety fears.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 8:10 pm

Year 11 pupils at the Clowne school will be able to celebrate their achievements at Van Dyk Hotel at the end of July after parents and businesses stepped in to make the prom happen.

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Pictures: Portland Comprehensive's end of school prom in 2010

Melanie Cliff, one of the parents who has organised the event, said: “Prom was something my daughter was looking forward to for many years before.

Heritage High School in Clowne.

“When the school announced it wouldn’t be organising one this year, I felt I couldn’t sit back and do nothing after seeing the disappointment in my daughter's and her friends' faces.

“This year’s year 11 students have had an awful couple of years and they really do deserve a night to celebrate together before they all go their separate ways.

“I spoke with a few other parents – Rebecca Rice, Leanne Plant, Sam Booker and Gemma Burton – and businesswoman Becky Candy, from Becky Candy Salons, reached out to me and it went from there.

“The prom will take place at Van Dyk Hotel at 6pm on July 21.

“We’ve managed to subsidise around 75 per cent of the total cost of the prom through very kind cash donations from local people, parents, businesses and the Community Unity Project.

“We have also managed to run and still are running raffles with donations from local businesses.

“It’s been hard work and it’s still not over but I wouldn’t change what we’ve done as it will all be worth it in the end.”

A spokesperson for Heritage High School said: “The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our utmost priority, and every decision we take considers, first and foremost, the ramifications of our students’ and staffs’ health and safety.

“We are hugely disappointed that the school has not been able to host a prom for year 11.

“However, at such an uncertain and challenging time, and after very careful consideration, the senior leadership team felt that holding a prom would conflict with the careful risk assessment the school has in place.”

They added there would be a leavers’ assembly and a celebration event in November to commend pupils.

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