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Going out in style

The end-of-term school disco is out - these days, high school pupils expect a glitzy prom complete with limousines, ball gowns and tuxedos.

Across Wales, teenagers have been celebrating, and teachers say the events can be good for motivation.

At Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive in Swansea, many Year 11 pupils hire stretch limousines or Rolls-Royces for their leaving party, but this year one group arrived in a horse and carriage.

Head of upper school Derek Mellin said young people are not particularly influenced by American culture, but are keen to look glamorous.

Pupils shelled out money on big dresses and tuxedos for the evening, while several boys wore Welsh kilts.

"The more wealthy ones will buy more expensive dresses, but it's within the range of every pupil," said Mr Mellin, who added that a prom was a big motivator for pupils. "They need to have a decent attendance to go and they're also under pressure to pass their exams," he said.

Gareth Hatton, behaviour manager at Rhosnesni High in Wrexham, regularly organises the school's prom.

"It's a nice way of finishing their school career," he said. "We are there to run it but not to supervise them."

Alcohol and smoking are strictly forbidden and staff make sure pupils leave safely. Mr Hatton said: "They know I will turn them away if they disobey. They've never let me down."

Staff at Rhosnesni hired a local hotel and a band was fronted by the school's head of maths.

Photograph: PA.

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