A Taupo school has backed down from banning a teenager from her school ball weeks after her father's death, because school fees hadn't been paid.

Taupo-a-nui-Tia College student Rhianne Edwards, 16, was left in tears on Friday after being told she wouldn't be allowed to go to the school ball because of low school attendance and outstanding school fees.

Her sister, Kara-Maree Benson, blasted the school in a Facebook status.

"My sister has been through enough this year and deserves this [one] night out with friends to make some happy memories," Benson said.

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Benson also accused the school of allowing other students with worse attendance records to go, because they'd paid school fees.

The school has now backed down, with principal Peter Moyle telling Fairfax the person who made the decision hadn't realised Edwards' father had recently died.

He said the deputy principal had made a call based on the school's guidelines for non-payment of activity fees, and attendance.

But after consulting with the Year 13 dean, the decision had been reversed to allowed Edwards to go.

Moyle said he was willing to meet the girl and her family to apologise for the stress that had been caused.