The prom had been due to take place on July 1 at the Deanwater Hotel in Stockport but, after the Government extended restrictions until at least July 19, the school this week emailed parents to say it could not go ahead.
While the official restriction on wedding guest numbers has been removed, other indoor events are still limited to six people or two households, venues must continue adhering to social distancing and no indoor dancefloors are allowed.
Carly Hague, whose son Joel attends the school, said: “The children were all really upset. They will all be moving on to different places next year, and a lot of them hadn’t said proper goodbyes to each other, or their teachers, as they expected to see them at the prom.
“We’ve got no issue with the school – apparently the hotel said it could not cater for the event – it just seemed a really sad way to end things. It’s not so much the dressing up, its about them all being there to mark the end of an era.”
She added: “It’s been such a tough past year for them trying to learn from home, get through their GCSEs, and having to isolate every other week when someone tested positive. They’ve hardly seen each other, and there’s been no chance to enjoy their last days together and make those memories.”
With the summer term due to end on July 22, there appears no prospect of the school being able to rearrange an alternative date with any certainty.
Many of the students had already put down deposits for limousines, party buses, dresses and suits, but Carly and a group of other parents hope that expense will not go to waste.
She said: “After we heard it was cancelled, I posted something on Facebook about what a shame it was, and a few other parents picked up on it and we started making plans for a ‘mini-prom’. The school has offered some support, but we’re taking the whole thing on ourselves.
“We’re looking at Saturday, August 21 – fingers crossed the restrictions have been lifted – and we’ve already got chaperones and first aiders and a possible venue, but we’re hoping to get some help from local businesses.”
She added: “It won’t be the big formal sit-down meal in a fancy hotel which the kids were looking forward to, but we’d like to decorate it properly with balloons, have a DJ, a photographer or a selfie booth, and maybe a street food van outside.
“We’d like it to be to get the whole community involved and make it a fun, special night which the students can remember forever.”
Any business owners who could support the event can contact Carly for more information via [email protected]