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I am writing this letter in application for the position of Prefect and Head/Deputy Head prefect. I see this position as a central part of the schools foundations, traditions, and effective communication
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- Subject English
Application Form for the Position of Prefect
I am writing this letter to inform you that I believe that all students sho...
I am writing to express my interest in the position sports interactive are...
Letter for editor. I am writing to you for a reason, I am extremely indign...
Inspire My Teaching
- Mar 13, 2022
Classroom Leadership: how to effectively choose school prefects for your subject area
How to ensure you get the right subject prefects...
School Prefects: every school seems to have them, but very few seem to have mastered the art of using them effectively. So why is this the case? And, more importantly, how can you select the ones who will save you time and improve standards? Read on to find out more...
The Historic Problem
Time after time we've all seen the "prefect thing" become a "lip service" exercise... where students often gain the title without having to "buy in" to the expectations, or the workload.
Everyone starts out enthusiastically and with high hopes of great change, but in reality this rarely seems to happen. Prefects turn up to the expected Open Evening and dawdle about (frequently checking their watches!), and the only types of questions they ask are: 'When do you think I can go home?' or 'Are there any biscuits left?'
You might be lucky and get one or two decent prefects and you may even get a bit of a classroom display put up for you ... wonkily, but still, it counts as something. Occasionally, you may win the 'holy grail' of prefects and think 'this year we'll finally get things done'... to then have them stolen away by the allure of a better school position when everyone finally realises how good they are. (And this always seems to happen partway through the year when you thought 'all your ducks were in a row'!)
It seems that (excluding the rare exception) we never seem to get 'our money's worth' when it comes to "hiring" prefects, especially not in the long term.
So why do we even bother?
Well, aside from being directed to do this, what is in it for you? FREE TIME! That’s what’s in it for you... if you get this right. (* And obviously the satisfaction that you are nurturing the hidden leadership talents of the next generation.) But mainly free time. And you'll probably think ' Yeah, right’ , but my department are now in the fortunate position where our prefects not only save us time, but actually help us raise standards too.
It sounds so obvious, but the simple truth is that it’s all about motivation. BUT, it's not simply enough to create it… the trick is sustaining it.
What's in it for them?
Let’s face it, students need motivating factors to do pretty much anything. Some you can buy off with ‘ This will look great on your UCAS application ‘ ( Yes, that ol’ chestnut!) and others you will probably have to literally buy off… with time and biscuits… and Amazon vouchers.
This being said, everyone is motivated by something, and that something is usually success. Benjamin Ball's 'Summary of Motivational Theories’ claims that individuals want to work for an establishment where they feel they are able to make a positive difference. If this moral reason fails, then helping people to feel (and look) important can be a very effective motivational tool, too. My department sustain this sense of importance by creating a student hierarchy for our subject prefects.
The Prefect Hierarchy
The Prefect Hierarchy follows a similar pattern to our own teacher hierarchy. Humans adhere to hierarchical constructs, hence the influence Religion, Monarchs and Politicians have always had over us... and why we try to curry favour with our line managers. Students follow a hierarchy in your own classroom with you as the leader they instinctively know they should follow.
Age and status are the two main ways of creating a strong hierarchy. As prefects are close in age, the only structure left is to create status roles within the subject prefect team. schools have been doing this with their 'Head Girl' and 'Head Boy' roles for decades, but I've rarely seen this idea filter into the subject prefect sphere.
My department aim to employ 5-6 subject prefects with the following roles:
Head Subject Prefect
Deputy Head Subject Prefect
Subject Prefect (specific role)
This year we've created a 'Head of Literacy Prefect' as this fits well with our department and school aim, but you could create subject prefects with different roles to suit your own department needs. However, be careful not to give every subject prefect a specific role otherwise you tend to get all leaders and no followers... and too many cooks tend to spoil the broth!
You also need to ensure that your 'Head Subject Prefect' is strong enough to 'rally the troops' and keep them in check, but is also kind enough to not become a power hungry dictator in your absence. Young adults are still in the process of learning to be adults, after all.
So, to choose wisely, you need a suitable application process…
The Application Process
With more and more demand to prepare students for their future careers, treating your school prefect application process like a “real” job interview has multiple benefits:
It weeds out the unmotivated
It provides a sense of gravitas that shows students this is important to you (and so should be to them!)
It’s an opportunity for students to gain some worthwhile interview experience (which works nicely with the Gatsby benchmarks)
It means you can better sense leadership potential for creating your prefect hierarchy
We ”advertise” the posts like a proper job interview. Students are told in lessons and emailed the job posting. The post-COVID world has made this even easier with platforms, like Microsoft Teams, allowing you to set such a thing as a voluntary 'assignment'.
We give them a job description and a deadline, and expect a letter of application that details their suitability for the role(s). It's also a good idea to get them to specify the role(s) they are interested in... this really helps to 'whittle' them down for interview. Finally, we make the benefits of the roles very apparent. It's vital to make it clear what's in it for them as we want to keep motivation levels high.
The Selection Process
Since implementing this system, we are inundated with subject prefect applications. One year we had a record 60% of our course students apply for a post... previous to this we were lucky if we got 2 applicants. However, this comes with its own problems... how do you select the right candidates for interview?
Firstly, you need to know your students. Applying for a role naturally opens you up for the possibility of rejection and that makes you very vulnerable... so managing student feedback and expectations is paramount. An innocent but flippant remark from you could really injure an applicant.
We have THREE golden rules for this:
Applicants MUST meet the deadlines and apply as requested (this instantly whittles out those who are not truly interested and applicants tend to take 'your application was too late' much better than 'we didn't feel you were suitable for interview'.
All applicants are kept confidential and are contacted separately (never as a group). This means a student has full control over whether they tell their peers or not.
Feedback must be provided following the "compliment sandwich" approach : compliment, constructive feedback, bigger compliment e.g. " We absolutely loved your energy, but we felt other candidates had more experience with running extra-curricular clubs and that’s something we really needed, however, we thought your interview answers were strong and we know that Geography are really interested in having you as a prefect".
Don't fall into the trap of interviewing everyone who applies just because you feel bad. It sends the wrong message to the stronger applicants, it wastes a lot of your time, and once people complete the interview stage they have naturally convinced themselves that they are the best person for the job. Therefore, telling them they haven't 'got the job' is much harder on them than if they aren't selected for interview in the first place. If you know it's definitely not going to work out, then don't go there.
Once we've selected students we'd like to interview, all applicants are contacted with either a 'please come to interview' or a 'thank you for applying, however...' email. The former can be very generic, however the latter I like to make more personalised and again adopt the 'compliment sandwich' approach. We tend to follow this up with a face to face conversation too.
Again, the interview is just like those for a professional paying job... but a little bit softer. I prefer to have two people on the interview panel - it makes sense to ask one of your main A Level teachers to get involved... to give the interview more gravitas, but also to get relevant team members invested in their prefects. For extra status, you could ask a senior leader or Head of Year to help you interview.
To help with nerves and get the interviews off to a good start, we tell students in their 'please come to interview' email what the first question will be. For us, it's always 'why did you apply for this position?' We pre-decide our questions (choose 4-6 which students can elaborate on... you don't want to be there all day!) and print out answer grids for the panel to fill in and score the answers. This is a bit of extra effort, but really helps with the selection process at the end... especially when trying to decide who to appoint for each role.
Last year 15 applied, we interviewed 10, and gave out 6 positions, and the interview answer grids made the task so much easier. It also means you can give detailed feedback if requested... and helpful constructive criticism is always greatly appreciated.
The interviews are around 10-15 minutes each and for confidentiality, I like to choose a suitable meeting room away from our subject teaching area.
Make sure you tell students when and how they will hear the outcome from you and stick to this agreement. It sounds painfully obvious, but leaving people in limbo is a really good way to pee them off… yet it happens repeatedly. Just think back to your last job interview!
So there you have it, a strong methodology for getting the right prefects for your subject area. Check out the sister blog ' Classroom Leadership: how to effectively use your subject prefects in your subject area' for tips on how to save you time whilst raising standards.
For more useful ideas, check out our blogs on leadership and engagement.
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Classroom Leadership: how to get the most out of school prefects in your subject area
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Persuasive Speech: I Should Be the Next School Prefect
I should be your next school prefect because I have all the best things to offer the position and the establishment. To start with, I have an engaging and positive attitude that makes it easy to relate to students and staff. Not only that, but I am cheerful and love to take on new challenges. I have plenty of experience working with others in a leadership role so I am prepared to take on this duty with all the necessary achievements and requirements under my belt.
One of my main jobs will be working with the students and staff at the school to help them deal with both positive and negative issues that arise on campus. I will help each one of them give voice to their needs and wants so that we can work together to create the perfect school environment for everyone. I will meet with the headmaster on a regular basis to problem solve and come up with solutions to issues that students might be having at school. Each and every student should know that I am on their side and promise to make school as great as it can be for them.
When it comes to my qualifications, I believe I have what it takes to make a great leader. I have a confidence that makes it simple for me to speak before a crowd in a proficient and knowledgeable way. I enjoy answering questions about myself and am always willing to discuss issues and assist in finding a solution. I am easy to talk to and promise to take each issue seriously so that students feel heard and understood, no matter what they might be facing. I am good at communicating what needs to be done as well as my appreciation for the help that others give me. I’m not afraid to ask for help when I need it and would rather admit it than try to solve a problem alone, only to find out that I’m not equipped to do so without assistance. I am also able to plan large events, such as holiday parties and enjoy working as part of a team. I am able to share ideas and tasks with my group and am able to give up some control for the good of everyone involved. You will always find me open and willing to talk, both about the good and the bad.
As a prefect, I want to help the school be the best it can be by partnering with students, staff and parents to ensure that each problem is solved and make the school a fun and educational environment for each and every student that attends. I want to take on the role of prefect so that I can continue in this tradition and use my talents and time to create the perfect school for anyone. Each student will feel happy and at home at school and parents will be assured that their child will be safe on campus and will get a superior education while they are here.
In summary, I love what being a prefect means for me and my fellow students. I want this experience to further enhance my life and my experience, but I also want to share what I have to offer with other students. This school has provided me with so many opportunities and chances to learn and I feel like it’s my duty to give back by becoming a prefect and giving something back to the school and the students and staff that are here on a daily basis. Thank you!
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School Trainee Prefect Appointment Letter
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Home » Letters » School » Recommendation Letter for Class Prefect – Sample Recommendation Letter by School Teacher for the Post of Class Prefect
Recommendation Letter for Class Prefect – Sample Recommendation Letter by School Teacher for the Post of Class Prefect
To, The Principal, _______ (Name of the School) _______ (Address of the School)
Date: __/__/____ (Date)
Subject: Request for approval of class prefect
Most respectfully, I am working in your reputed school as a subject teacher for ________ (subject name)
I write this letter to bring into your kind consideration that _______ (name of the student) has shown tremendous leadership skills in the previous academic session. Also, not only his academic grades are top-notch, but also his/her performance in ______ (sports/ arts/ etc.) has been brilliant. He/She is also popular among his/her peers. Hence, I hereby recommend his/her name for becoming class prefect for the upcoming session. Kindly accord your approval on same.
I shall be thankful to you.
In case, you have any queries, you may contact me at the contact details mentioned below.
Yours respectfully, _________ (Your name) ________ (Department) _________ (Employee ID)
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