It’s fair to say that not everything imported from America has enriched us as a nation. But the school prom, which has quickly become part of the rites of passage of our teenagers, is an idea that works well.
The prom allows pupils in their final year to let their hair down, celebrating their achievements and the close friendships they have forged. It is a way of recognising they have reached a certain point in their lives and is an embodiment of the camaraderie that has sustained them through their education.
Up until now, it has been taken for granted that all Year 11 students get to go to these lavish bashes.
So there have been some raised eyebrows over the decision of Brookfield Community College in Sarisbury Green to only allow in those pupils who have earned a certain amount of ‘brownie points’. They must collect a minimum of 400 to receive an invitation and these can be picked up for good work inside and outside school.
The prom is part of a wider school points scheme introduced last year that rewards students with anything from a congratulatory text to parents (50 points), to a £10 high street voucher (700 points).
We think it’s a great idea. Though some pupils were sceptical at first that they would never reach the 400-point target, their fears have proved to be unfounded.
A total of 200 out of 350 students have already got the points they need to go to the prom, with one girl racking up an impressive 900.
At the heart of this scheme is the notion that pupils need to earn an invite.
Only those who do good work in class, go to revision sessions, achieve target grades, have a 100 per cent attendance record or perform a public service such as picking up litter or volunteering will get to enjoy the party.
As deputy head Ian Gates says: ‘This is not a bribe, this is about giving recognition and reward to pupils.’
We wish Brookfield pupils well in their accumulation of points and suggest other schools should look at this excellent system of rewarding effort and achievement.