Prefects have been a part of the British school system for decades. The tradition of appointing students to keep order inside the school and to be intermediaries between the “child” and “adult” communities has been around for a long time. Appointment as a prefect is a proven way to motivate socially active students with pronounced organizational and leadership abilities. These students perform part of the functions of the school administration, ensure compliance with the rules, and can quickly respond to problems in the team, acting as mediators.
The prefects work in close contact with the administration, meet to discuss routine issues and individual problems, supervise the work of the prefects of houses and the residence in boarding schools. The prefects have a wide range of responsibilities, involving them in promoting the smooth operation of the school: the selected young people are responsible for the good behavior of all members of the student community, regulate the behavior of students during general events - school meetings, morning and afternoon breaks.
How prefects are chosen?
Prefects are selected by members of the SMT (senior management team) through a voting system. Preference is given to applicants who are distinguished by maturity, leadership and discipline, therefore, being elected is considered an honor.
The selection procedure includes several stages, allowing you to choose the most worthy:
- High school students write a letter of explanation explaining why they are ready to fulfill prefect duties, what necessary qualities they have
- Interview with the director of the institution, his deputy
- They attend an introductory day, receive information on responsibilities, the opportunity to develop managerial skills and form their own leadership style. Prefect preparation includes practical exercises: selected students learn to manage teams, understand their strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and seek individual style.
Elected candidates take office in June to help with the activities planned for the end of the year - so they manage to get used to the new role in anticipation of the next.
It is easier for students to talk with their peers about their problems than with a teacher or administrator - school prefects can serve as a link between students and teachers, helping to hear and understand the other side, speaking on behalf of shy or frightened students who are not ready to speak on their own.
Responsibilities of School Prefects
The role of the school prefect is wide and includes many different responsibilities - the prefects of the school and a separate house are distinguished among them. Main functions:
- Informational - prefects convey information from the administration to students using formal and informal methods. Prefects may be those who announce changes in the rules or deadlines for exams, pass information to new students regarding the rules and procedures. Some schools ask prefects to read aloud announcements or conduct daily parting readings: they serve as sources of everyday information, for example, about where a particular classroom or laboratory is located, how to move from one office to another.
- Represent the school community and students ’opinions, do it appropriately, through the right channels and structures.
- Present an educational institution, form a positive image of the school inside for students and the wider community from the outside.
- Set and comply with high standards of appearance, behavior, a positive format of everyday communication.
- In residences, house prefects help boarding staff manage the hostel: assistance includes registration, verification, preparation for lessons, mentoring for new boarding members.
Perfect perfection qualities
- Positive attitude. Try not to be upset or angry with other students. Show that optimism and good attitude are the key to success even in difficult situations.
- Be respectful to others. If you are communicating with another student, teacher, or member of the school board, show respect: other students will look at you to understand how to behave acceptable.
- Do your best at school, participate in lessons, do your homework on time. If you have difficulty with the subject, talk to your teacher or seek help from a tutor - other students will notice what effort you are making.
- Be honest. Do not lie to students or your teachers, do not come up with excuses. If you forgot to do your homework, tell the truth. Show students that being honest, even if you are afraid of the consequences, is better than lying.
- Follow the dress code. If the school has a uniform, wear it every day, watch for its cleanliness and neatness. If your school does not have uniforms, dress respectably.
- Attend classes. Avoid unjustified absences, limit the number of absences due to illness - this interferes with the duties of the prefect.
- Do not be late. Students will notice that you often come to classes late: set a good example, be punctual. If you have a genuine reason for being late, bring confirmation for the teacher (note, certificate).
- Be where you should. Do not walk along the corridor, do not leave the school grounds during classes. As a prefect you must be excellent! If you are attending a boarding school, attend the hostel so that students can come to you if they need information, or advice.
- Be accessible and welcoming. Smile, say "hello", be friendly, take your mind off the phone or documents when someone calls you.
- Be a good communicator. Communicate with students, get an idea of their affairs, the necessary help. The prefect is a link between students and teachers, he communicates with both parties.
- Be mindful of student issues. If students do not cope with academic disciplines or try to make friends, support him, offer help. If the student trusts you, you should not share the information received, except in cases of reporting a serious violation or information about socially dangerous behavior.
- Be fair. Do not choose favourites, do not turn away from those who are not pleasant to you: treat students fairly, without making any differences.