THE mum of an Ellesmere student barred from her end-of-school prom over a facial piercing says she is devasted – but senior leaders have insisted all rules were followed.

Georgina Smout says her daughter Keisha has had a septum piercing – in her nose – for the last three years, although it has been covered by a mask during Covid.

Her mum says that Keisha can hide it by lifting it up but staff at Lakelands School in Ellesmere have said she is not invited to the event at the Lion Quays on Wednesday, July 12.

But while her mum says her daughter deserves to attend the event – an increasingly important milestone for teenagers – the school says she was warned of the rules and has not only failed to remove the piercing but has added more.

Mum Georgina, from Ellesmere, said she has emailed the governors but had not received a call about it, while the school says it contacted her to say no invitation to the event would be sent to her.


“She’s never had any issues with behaviour or attendance in the five years she’s been there," said Georgina.

“The school just said that she wasn’t invited and that she can’t come.

“We were super prepared and we bought her a dress but the school said that was our own fault.

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“Keisha is devastated – but she’s not on her own, there are a few in her year who have been told they can’t go because of things like false nails.

“We’re a good family – we’re part of the community and get involved.

"I truly believe in 2023 teenagers should be allowed to express themselves in a world where individuality is so important."

However, headteacher Sophy Bellis has insisted that the decision to not invite Keisha to the prom was based on consistent rules in place.

She said: “A number of students who had not received a Prom invitation because of uniform, hair colour or piercings were invited to a breaktime meeting with the Head of Year 11 and Assistant Head.

Border Counties Advertizer: Lakelands schoolLakelands school (Image: Google.)

“Keisha chose not to attend the meeting but anxious to make sure she knew what had been said, her Head of Year made a point of finding her to explain that if she corrected her hair colour and removed her piercings, she would receive an invitation.

“The students were told that they had until April 24 to amend as requested, and the vast majority complied.”

Ms Bellis said Keisha removed the piercing only to return it and add others, and that her parents were contacted on June 19 to confirm she would not be invited.

She added that this was also to reinforce the consistency of policy for others.