Prefects - what have they ever done for us?

(10 Posts)
Pippidoeswhatshewants Tue 12-Apr-16 20:43:16

We are relatively new to secondary education in the UK, and the dcs can apply to be prefects at school. As somebody who is not familiar with the U.K. system: What exactly are prefects and what do they do other than bossing people around at break time, as the dcs have us believe?

prh47bridge Tue 12-Apr-16 21:03:44

The role of prefects varies from school to school. They are there to assist and support staff and pupils. They are expected to set a good example. Their most visible role is often enforcing discipline during breaks when there is no teacher present. In some schools prefects do little more than that, in others they are expected to undertake a range of other tasks. There may be more information on your school's website.

Leeds2 Tue 12-Apr-16 21:07:04

Will look good on their CV/UCAS form!

Pippidoeswhatshewants Tue 12-Apr-16 21:24:34

I can't find any info on the website, and my dcs' view of prefects seems a bit biased.
I have seen prefects around on open days etc. but couldn't see what their role was, really. The whole idea of prefects doesn't sit right with me, but that's probably because I'm foreign... confused

SAHDthatsall Wed 13-Apr-16 10:22:22

Don't put Prefect on your CV!!

When we were filtering graduate CVs at a bank I worked at if someone had put down that they were a Prefect then that was them discarded!

senua Wed 13-Apr-16 11:09:39

It means different things to different schools. At some schools they are chosen by pupil ballot - so prefects are the popular ones. At other schools they are appointed by the Headteacher - so they are reliable types (although occasionally the misbehaving ones are given responsibility to try to help them mature). I have even known schools where everyone who made it to the sixth form was made a prefect (I don't suppose this happens any more).
At some schools they have a lot of responsibilities so it takes up time. At other schools, not so much.

Being a prefect can be good (depending on the school). You get taught a few leadership / management / committee skills. You are taught social skills when hosting school visitors. If you get to be Headgirl then you can marry a Prince.grin

bojorojo Wed 13-Apr-16 15:14:22

And if you are not chosen, you are invisible and get none of the above! All pupils should have a chance to develop leadership skills, management and committee skills etc. Why are some more deserving than others?

Often prefect status is given to the school's favoured pupils so they get preferential treatment and prizes at the end of the year. It can also be very divisive and splits up friendships as prefects begin to see themselves as a distinct group. In my old school, they had their own common room. In some schools they are the "yes" people who sell the school's policies for the Head to the student body, so they are seen as puppets of the Head and are especially chosen for this role. This is pretty usual in independent schools.

Before your DCs apply, check he job description.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Wed 13-Apr-16 17:47:57

SAHD Why did you discard the prefects?

senua Wed 13-Apr-16 21:54:07

I can't imagine why SAHD discarded graduate CVs that mention being a prefect at school. In the section on 'positions of responsibility', I always include the fact that I was milk monitor in Infants.
grin

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 13-Apr-16 22:21:36

I was a prefect - a very, very long time ago! In our school this meant we supervised the corridors and stairwells between lessons, to bellow 'keep to the left' like a foghorn ensure that everyone moved between classrooms swiftly and with no pissing around.

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