Step by step guide: leavers' prom
Forget the humble disco - today's school leavers want to
let off post-exam steam with a US-style prom. As this will often be
the last time that many classmates see each other, help make it an
occasion to remember.
Most leavers' proms are organised by school staff with input
from Year 11 students, but with a wealth of event-planning
experience under your belts, the PTA is well-placed to help.
Primary schools are starting to host 'prom' nights for leavers,
although these tend to be more of an upmarket disco, still held on
school premises. This guide is aimed at secondary schools.
- Agree a date and book a venue - your choice of venue is vital
to give your event an air of glamour. Many hotels offer 'prom
packages', where the food, drinks, music, service, and security is
included in the price. If hiring a professional DJ, book in
advance. If not, check that any equipment you need is available and
in full working order. Arrange for a professional photographer or
videographer to capture students on their big night.
- Check which licences you need. Read our event-licensing guidance or verify
requirements with your local authority. As a rule of thumb, if
featuring live or recorded music (where copyright applies), you
should obtain a PRS for Music licence (your venue may already have
this). You may also need a PPL licence. You no longer need a
- Have a budget in mind for the event and announce the cost per
ticket as early as possible (generally between £20-35). Publicise
your event about four-to-six weeks before the date. You will need
security on the door to check tickets - make it cear to students
that without a ticket they may not be granted access. Have a
guestlist on the door and ask students to bring ID to prove they
are who they say they are.
- Catering options can vary from a buffet, BBQ, or three-course
meal. Agree what you want with your organising committee and taste
samples before booking.
- Recruit enough volunteers. Start signing up volunteers to help
set up, supervise pupils, cover entrance and exits, staff
refreshments, monitor toilet areas, and to clean up after the
event. Your venue may stipulate the number of chaperones required,
otherwise work to a ratio of about one adult to five students.
Tips and advice
Limo hire advice
It's all about making an entrance, and the choice of student
transport ranges from limos to tractors and even mobility scooters!
But advise parents to be cautious... stretched limos should hold a
'passenger service vehicle licence', like buses and coaches, or a
'private hire vehicle licence', like taxis. Without a licence,
there is no guarantee that the driver is insured or that the
vehicle is roadworthy. To check if a company holds a licence call
0300 123 9000 or contact your local council.
Case study: pre-prom fair
Carol Button, PTA chair at The National C of E Academy
in Nottingham organised a pre-prom fair: 'We agreed which
type of companies we wanted and who we would each contact: dresses,
suit hire, shoes, accessories/jewellery, hairdressers, make-up
artists, spray tan, nails, limo/car hire, flowers, photographers
and room decorations/balloons. We ran the event from 6-9pm on a
Thursday, in the main school hall. Space cost £45 for dress
companies, and £30 for all other exhibitors. We also put together
goodie bags where leaflets could be inserted for £5 for businesses
who were not able to attend on the night, and free for those
attending. We ran a raffle with some fabulous prizes donated by
exhibitors. The highlight was a fashion show where Year 11 models
wore outfits from the companies who attended, strutting down the
catwalk in couples! Feedback was really positive and lots of people
from other schools came along. We raised £500, which was
match-funded by our local chemist. We will definitely hold another
one next year!'
The above is intended as guidance only. We
recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific
reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child
protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held
responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on
the guidance provided.
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