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New Forest school proms rescheduled to avoid Covid restrictions



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SECONDARY schools across the New Forest have been scrambling to reschedule proms after the planned easing of lockdown restrictions was postponed.

The traditional celebrations, which did not take place last year because of Covid restrictions, have become an important rite of passage for school leavers.

However, most schools had planned their events for late June or early July when existing social distancing measures were due to end.

Priestlands' 2019 prom held at Rhinefield House Hotel (photo: Steve West)
Priestlands' 2019 prom held at Rhinefield House Hotel (photo: Steve West)

As reported in the A&T, a group of Arnewood School mums stepped in to organise the New Milton leavers’ prom after staff pulled the plug over fears young people would be left out of pocket if it could not go ahead.

The team of seven mums had planned to hold the event in early July at Elmers Court in Lymington but, following news that restrictions would still be in place, they were able to reschedule it to 21st July.

Spokesperson Jo Ankers said: “There was a fair bit of phoning around after the government’s announcement but we were very grateful that Elmers Court were able move our prom booking to the later date when restrictions should have ended.

“We really felt after a difficult final year at school that the pupils deserved a celebration of all their hard work.”

Priestlands School has also moved the date of its prom at Elmers Court to 20th July.

Head teacher Peter Main said: “At Priestlands we made a decision early this year that we wanted to make every effort to ensure the Year 11 students had a celebration event to recognise the incredible challenges they have faced and overcome this year.

“They have applied themselves magnificently and worked incredibly hard.

“It will make a great end to the term, and students and staff are all really looking forward to it.”

Highcliffe School confirmed its prom will go ahead on the new date of 20th July at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium.

However, Noadswood School at Dibden Purlieu opted to cancel its prom event planned for 9th July in light of ongoing restrictions.

In a letter to students head teacher Kathryn Marshall wrote: “We have spoken with the venue this morning and they have confirmed that whilst restrictions on weddings have been relaxed somewhat, this does not apply to other events such as proms.

“We are unable to host the event on school site as it does not fall into the category of ‘educational activity’ and, as it does with all out of school events, the rule of 30 still applies.”

Ms Marshall acknowledged the disappointment that many students and parents would feel, and said the event could be rescheduled to the autumn term if there was sufficient interest.



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