"I cried, it was heartbreaking" Some music festivals and mass sporting events get the go ahead - but prom is put on hold

  • Charlotte Cross reports

Teenagers at a school in Wolverhampton have been left devastated after their school prom was cancelled - with just 48 hours notice.

It comes as some music festivals and mass sporting events were recently permitted to go ahead.

16-year-old Precious Jones had already had her hair and nails done ahead of her big day, which was supposed to be taking place on Friday (25 June).

She says she was "heartbroken" and cried when she found out that it had been cancelled.

And the decision has left many parents out of pocket too.

While some things, like the dress, can keep until the rescheduled date in September - other appointments, such as make-up and cars, have already been paid for.

Precious' mum, Angela Williams, told ITV News Central: "I had the makeup artist, I had her hair, I had the car, I had balloons, I had everything. To be told on Wednesday that it's not going ahead on Friday."

"They're all heartbroken - every one of them is heartbroken."

School proms cost parents hundreds of pounds each year.

The headteacher of Moreton School in Wolverhampton said the decision was made following advice from health experts, who said the prom could only go ahead if students stayed in bubbles of 30, while socially distancing.

She says the school have a "significant number of staff" who are self-isolating after contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

This means it wasn't possible to staff all of the bubbles that would be needed for the prom to go ahead safely.

It's just one of the many challenges schools have faced during the pandemic.

Geoff Barton, the general secretary at teaching union ASCL, says it comes at the same time that exams have been cancelled, and teachers are having to pick up the pieces for that.

He says people need to "cut some slack" for teachers, school leaders and people in colleges as they do "their very best, following government guidance."

The latest figures show 176 coronavirus cases in Wolverhampton - an increase of almost 50% in one week.

Dr Naomi Forrester-Soto, a virologist at Keele University, says when the virus "gets in among children" it can easily spread.

"There is more mixing in the adult population, which means more families are likely therefore to become infected, which means schools therefore become more of a driver, so it's all interlinked", she explains.

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