THE WILLINK school will not approve the absence of two pupils who are set to compete at the cheerleading World Championships, its head teacher has announced.

Crimson Heat Tigers are set to perform in the iconic competition following years of dedication and hard work.

The school was embroiled in controversy when it told pupils they would be banned from the school's prom this year if they missed school in the build-up to their exams.

Gareth Green, who founded the cheerleading team, appealed for members to be granted authorised absence from school when the group travel to the USA at the end of April.

Head teacher Peter Fry today (Friday) revealed the pupils will no longer be stopped from attending the glamorous event and stated two Year 10 pupils will be granted authorised absence.

However, the school will not clear the absence of two Year 11 pupils.

A statement reads: "The Willink views the annual cheerleading trip to America as a great venture for our students. Each year we approve student absence from school – as an approved sporting activity - and on their return we celebrate their successes in assemblies and through our newsletter “We Link”.

"This year we have students participating once again. The school has approved or is in the process of approving the absence from school of two year 10 students to go to the US. "With regard to two year 11 students who have applied for leave of absence, we have not approved their absence from school as the trip takes up a significant period of time just prior to their GCSE examinations.

"These students went on the cheerleading trip to the USA last year when their attendance on the trip was approved. We are not saying these same students cannot go again; this is a matter of parental choice.

"What we have said is that we cannot authorise their absence this time around.

"Parents may contact the school about this decision and we, as always, are happy to discuss the matter further with them – indeed conversations have already taken place as would be normal in a school."

Mr Green urged education chiefs to approve of the trip and said the young athletes should be encouraged to take part in the event, which will be held in Orlando, Florida.

He has devised a strict revision plan which would see the girls study for three hours a day and they will not miss any of their exams.

The 35-year-old told the Chronicle: "I want the girls to be treated as athletes and as such I believe it should be an authorised absence. I wouldn't normally be able to take them to the USA because we do not accept unauthorised absence from school."

Former Willink pupil and Olympic gold medalist Chris Mears also weighed in on the argument.

The 24-year-old tweeted: "Dear Willink School... you supported me through all my competitions as a young and aspiring high performance athlete. PLEASE reconsider this amazing opportunity for these cheerleaders. They have earned the right to compete for their country."