Chanel College students have helped set codes of dress and decorum for their school ball this year unlike their counterparts at St Dominic's College for girls in Auckland, where plunging necklines, low backs, leg splits and new boyfriends as ball dates have been banned.

The St Dominic's ban includes dresses split higher than the knee, dresses with backs lower than the armpits, any visible cleavage, the removal of ball shoes "no matter how sore your feet get" and any partner who did not share "a serious relationship" with the ball-goer.

Students at the Henderson school had launched a petition against the rules and said the prohibitions had come with a new principal who had enacted them for the first time this year.

Ball outfits had to be approved by the associate principal and numerous students had been angered after already having bought gowns.


Chanel College principal Grant Miles said the winter ball at his school will be held on Friday, June 24, and students had been integral to its organisation.

"We have the expectation that it is a formal occasion and that people dress appropriately and respectfully. There is a process for students bringing outside partners, who are screened by our senior staff with a call to their school, as most are students themselves.

"Parents are invited and attend the ball, as indeed are staff. There is a whole procedure that we go through but there is no regulation regarding the wearing or removal of shoes at the ball," he said.

"The reason our rules work, I believe, is because the students don't want to get it wrong and they are part of the organising committee along with staff.

"So there is a mutual understanding about the nature of the event before it kicks off and the students don't want to mess it up what is a very special night for them.

"Yes, there are expectations on behalf of the school but the students have expectations as well. Year to year, the students know what the standards are, and that is passed on. It's a special night and they don't want anything to go wrong."

Mr Miles said the greater level of co-operation between students and staff and the parental support ensures "we are still able to hold a ball".

"We all try to make it special and we don't tell students how to dress as such. It's a formal occasion and students know they are on show. There are expectations on what is appropriate and what is not but are they written down in black and white, hard and fast like that? No, they're not."

Mr Miles was not aware of any after-ball functions being held on the night. He said "if the main event is the main event, then any need for that diminishes".