Student leaders and their roles in the school

Every school can’t be run by just teachers without the help of students. This is because students share a lot of things with each other like classrooms, dining rooms, restrooms, etcetera. This means fellow students have a higher reach than teachers, so they can be their eyes and ears.

This is why students are given a chance to elect their prefects of choice – from those that have been nominated by the teachers after the vetting process. This article breaks down the usual big blocks of the student leadership structure.

1. Head prefect (head boy/ head girl)

The head prefect is the top most post in the student administration system. Since there is a head boy and a head girl, they are both mainly responsible for other prefects in their gender group. The roles of the head prefect include;

  • Responsibility for the actions of all prefects under them
  • Reviews cases before they’re forwarded to teachers
  • Assigning duties to fellow prefects and making sure they are accomplished
  • Handling cases of misconduct by other prefects
  • Organizing meetings for prefects to assess the situation in school

With all the duties of the head prefect properly performed, it’s almost certain that the school’s prefects’ body will be organized and fully functional.

2. Assistant head boy/ girl

The assistant head prefect is second in line of command. This means they’re the direct replacement of the head prefect in case anything happens to them. The roles of the assistant head prefect include;

  • Leading along with the head prefect
  • Helping the head prefect and representing them where necessary
  • Filling in for the head prefect in case of any reason for absence

In schools, by-elections aren’t held. Therefore, the post of head prefect doesn’t have to remain vacant as the direct replacement can always be appointed right away.

3. Time keeper

The time keeper, according to some people, is the most important prefect in the school cabinet. This is because all activities in school operate on time, and the time keeper is there to remind everyone. Below are the roles of the time keeper;

  • Alarms the school whenever it’s time for anything
  • Makes sure students and teachers are punctual
  • Reports students and/ or teachers that violate the school time rules

In most cases, the time keeper can be replaced if there’s a consistent delay in the time they ring the electric bell/ hand bell or gong.

4. Head monitor

The head monitor is like the class monitor of all classrooms in the school. This is because the head monitor is supposed to do things like;

  • Supervise all classroom activities
  • Make sure all classes are attended by teachers
  • Supervise all class monitors and makes sure they are playing their roles well
  • Make sure that all classrooms are hygienic

Since the class monitor is like the absolute leader of the classroom, there always has to be a higher authority to check them.

5. Entertainment prefect

Most schools normally provide entertainment to their students – but teachers are often too busy to do things like;

  • Provide entertainment to students
  • Control the kind of content that students consume
  • Monitor the students’ behaviors during the entertainment session to prevent any form of misconduct

This is why the entertainment prefect’s post is availed so they can take care of all that. However, most schools leave this post for boys only – because they’re usually the only ones with basic knowledge in electronics.

6. Sports prefect

The sports prefect is assigned to take care of anything and everything regarding sports and games. In some schools, sports are taken seriously, including tournaments between schools. Therefore, the sports prefect is tasked to do things like;

  • Make sure the school provides games time to students
  • Organize all students who will take part in games
  • Work together with the sports master to improve the sports standards in school
  • Emphasize the distinction between studying and play time

With the sports prefect in place students are well motivated to participate in games and sports alongside their education.

7. Dormitory captain

In every boarding school, teachers know very well that students are easier to control in the classroom, than in the dormitory. Therefore, posts for dormitory captains help in things like;

  • Making sure all dormitories are clean
  • Checking to confirm that the dormitories are empty during class time
  • Making sure no conspiracies are planned inside the dormitories
  • Identifying and report all illegal items that students use or possess in the dormitories including weapons, alcohol, electronic gadgets, etc

While the dormitory captain is just another student that won’t stay up late to detect crime, students usually won’t commit those crimes in the captain’s watch.

8. Head of scouts

Scouts are a very important part of the school, and they help get students mentally and physically strong, as well as teach social and survival skills. Therefore, the head of scouts plays roles like;

  • Enforcing the scouting schedule and activities in the school
  • Controlling the behavior and conduct of all students

Usually, the head of scouts is voted by the scouts themselves because they know the candidates better than the general population.

9. Religious prefect

Every school allows students to practice at least one religion. This is because the country itself is on a religious foundation, and so many parents don’t take religion for granted. Therefore, the religious prefect is expected to do things like;

  • Make sure that all students attend their respective religious sessions according to their religion
  • Ensure that the religious sessions don’t exceed their allotted time
  • Make sure that the sheikh/ reverend/ priest always attends and leads students through prayers

Usually, some schools assign as many religious prefects as the religions they allow students to practice. However, other schools have only one to take care of all.


The only catch with prefects and other student leaders in school has always been how much authority they have, which determines what they can or cannot do. If not limited, prefects can go to the extremes like personally administering punishments to students, physically assaulting them or taking their property without asking. Therefore, student leaders shouldn’t be beyond reproach and their authority should be checked.

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