Preston teen whose late gran helped pick out her prom dress banned from attending

A heartbroken teenager from Preston whose late gran helped pick out her prom dress has been told she is not allowed to attend the event this evening.

By Emma Downey
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 6:41 pm

15-year-old Ella Rose Whitehead from Ashton has been informed by Ashton Community Science College that due to her "negative behaviour and unwillingness to co-operate" that she would not be able to attend her prom.

Ella Rose, who has been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), already had her dress picked out with help from her late gran Julie, 59, who passed in May from kidney failure.

Her mother Kelly, 40, said: "We are still grieving and now this.

15-year-old Ella Rose Whitehead's dreams of attending her prom in a dress her late gran helped pick out have been left shattered after she has been told not to attend

"She has been uninvited to her prom despite me providing letters from her psychiatrist confirming her behaviour is down to ADHD.

"They (the school) said she disrupted a revision session when she asked to use a friend's phone to contact me as hers wasn't working as she gets really anxious when she is not able to contact me.

"She was supposedly talking whilst entering an exam although the exam invigilators would have removed her if this was the case?

"She has already got her dress and transport sorted. She spent all day yesterday in tears. It's discrimination."

A heartbroken Ella Rose

Kelly, who is a civil servant, added: "Myself and Ella Rose are both devastated that she is being punished for a disability she cannot help.

"She even wrote to the head apologising if she had offended anybody.

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"Ella Rose is meant to have a prom memory forever and they are just snatching it from her."

An excited Ella Rose after choosing her prom dress which her late gran helped her pick

Kelly said she even offered to chaperone her daughter to the prom, but claims the school didn't acknowledge her request.

"We were informed last month that Ella Rose was not allowed to attend, exactly four weeks after I lost my mother, Ella Rose’s grandmother, who helped her choose her dress.

"The school told us three weeks before the prom that she was not allowed to go so obviously we have purchased her dress, sorted transport, hair, make up etc.

"I’m a single working mum so cannot afford to lose any money."

Ella Rose, 15, looks at photos of her in her dress, as she has been banned from attending prom this evening

Ella Rose, who says it has affected her mental health even more, added: "It just meant a lot to me that if I went to my prom that I could make my grandma proud.

"I don't want anyone else to go through what I went through especially when you suffer with multiple health issues."

A school spokesperson added: “The school wants as many students as possible to attend and enjoy the annual end-of-year leavers prom, but we are very clear with students and parents that an invitation to the prom is a privilege and one of the conditions of attendance is meeting the school’s expectations for behaviour during the school year.

"We understand it is disappointing for any student who does not meet those standards to miss the event, and the decision to withdraw an invitation is never taken lightly.”

The prom will be held at Bartle Hall hotel from 7pm this evening.

Ashton College has refused Ella Rose, 15, from attending prom this evening due to 'disruptive behaviour' she can't control due to many conditions