Scott and his older sister Georgia.
A NORTH Geelong Secondary College student was denied his first high school award yesterday because his struggling single mum couldn't afford new shoes.
Scott Romeyn, 12, was overjoyed on Monday afternoon to learn he would receive the accolade at the end-of-year awards day.
But his joy soon turned to tears when he was turned away from receiving his award because a teacher ruled the black runners he'd worn for the past six months were not good enough to wear on stage to collect the award.
``I felt disappointed and I felt like they weren't being fair because they wouldn't let me on stage because my shoes weren't the actual school shoes,'' Scott said.
``I would have felt happy and excited about getting the award.
``I'm disappointed about this because I don't think school shoes should really matter.''
Mum Alison said she was delighted to be told late Monday about the award but was not aware her son needed new shoes to collect the prize.
``He's been wearing those shoes for six months of the year,'' she said.
``The teacher said he could not go on stage unless he was wearing someone else's shoes but I said no he wasn't going to do that because it's not healthy.''
The struggling single mum, who also works to support her family, said she couldn't afford to buy a new pair of shoes for one day and preferred to wait until the new school year before investing in the footwear.
Department of Education regional spokeswoman Julie Pavletich said it was North Geelong Secondary College policy that students going on stage to receive an award must be in full school uniform.
``Parents were advised of the need for full school uniform at today's awards ceremony in the newsletter dated 23 November and again, by letter, on 3 December,'' Ms Pavletich said.
``On this occasion the student in question was advised before the ceremony commenced that his shoes were inappropriate. The student was given another pair of shoes and was wearing them ready to receive his award at the ceremony when his mother decided to take him home.''