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Were you a school prefect?

(128 Posts)
biglouis Sat 16-Sep-23 12:38:17

I was never chosen and at the time I was quite annoyed about it.

Academically I was always top of the class, or joint top with my friend. She was made a prefect in final year. I was not. The differences between us:-

She was also sporty and on the school netball/hockey teams
Her parents were well off and was always beautifully turned out.

I on the other hand hated sport and did everything I could to avoid it. I never looked "tidy" because my uniforms were second hand from the Liverpool "Paddies market".

I used to imagine that her success in being selected a prefect was because she was more of an all rounder and her immaculate appearance.

I now recognise that it was probably more a matter of attitude. I always had a somewhat cavalier approach to the school rules. I got off with a great deal because of my academic success and prowess in music and drama and my willingness to represent the house in competitions. I never turned up for detention, not once. I often answered back teachers in a way which appeared cheeky and entitled.

Prefects need to present themselves as a role model to other students. I never aspired to that but tended to plough my own furrow.

Were you ever a prefect or school captain? Did you aspire to the role or were you simply selected?

vampirequeen Sat 16-Sep-23 19:05:34

Classes took in it turns to be prefects in 5th Year. My class had a claim to fame though. We were all sacked and banned from being prefects ever again. At first everyone was impressed by our skills. There was never any trouble when we were prefects. But then it all when pear shaped.

Apparently it wasn't the done thing to let people smoke in the toilets in return for a cigarette. Neither was it OK to let people stay in the cloakrooms if they shared their sweets.

The adults didn't seem to care that we had the best discipline record. They just said we were corrupt. We saw it as a mutually beneficial system after all we were giving up all our breaks and lunchtimes. Other pupils liked it when we were in charge. grin

vampirequeen Sat 16-Sep-23 19:07:21

I should add that although it was a comprehensive school we were actually streamed by class. We were the top stream lol

Grammaretto Sat 16-Sep-23 19:34:11

I actually was because I protested that the way prefects were chosen was undemocratic.
A few of us in the 6th form petitioned the head who agreed that everyone in the upper 6th would be prefects. There was a head girl and 2 deputies but we all had responsibility for doing whatever prefects did.
It was a boarding school and I was in charge of the bedroom. The head girl was in my bedroom so I had to make sure she kept her clothes tidy etc!
We all got on well so no resentments.

M0nica Sat 16-Sep-23 19:53:13

I was a prefect and the Senior Boarder (it was a mixed boarding and day school) despite a reputation for being rebellious and outspoken.

Possibly the Head Mistress thought she could 'turn' me by giving me the responisibility. Itdidn't worl. At the end of my year she said that if she had any more Senior Boarders like me she would have the next one from the junior school.

My younger sister says the problem was that I saw my job as being a shop steward and representing the boarders to the .'management' while the Head Mistress wanted me to be the management rep, representing authority to the boarders.

Aveline Sat 16-Sep-23 20:12:43

I was a prefect and I still feel that I am!
After I left school I met a younger ex pupil who told me that I was the prefect people were most scared of. I was very surprised. I had never had to say anything or do anything about others' misbehaviour. She said, ' No but you always looked as though you might!'.
So watch it Grans or I'll give you lines!

midgey Sat 16-Sep-23 20:17:37

You know, I have no recollection!

aggie Sat 16-Sep-23 20:21:46

I have a vague memory of being a junior prefect , but was demoted for some reason ! Probably for having no idea what I was supposed to be doing

Deedaa Sat 16-Sep-23 20:21:48

Oh dear no! My friends and I were never very naughty but we were subversive enough not to be prefect material!

nadateturbe Sat 16-Sep-23 21:17:41

I was the only girl in Lower Sixth not made a prefect and it probably changed the course of my life. I had some of the best grades in GCE but because I was often absent (not my fault, from a very poor family, sometimes no clean clothes, bus fare etc) the principal said she couldn't make me one. My classmates treated me differently, saying I had go out with the juniors at lunch time. I left after a week.
I had been house captain the year before, chosen by a huge majority, which made it harder.
I wrote to the school many years later, saying I hoped they didn't treat pupils like this now.
No reply.
I still feel sad about it.

Aveline Sat 16-Sep-23 21:22:38

That's very sad nadateturbe

nadateturbe Sat 16-Sep-23 21:22:44

Just read your OP properly biglouis.
I assume you weren't the only nonprefect in your year? I could have handled that.

Primrose53 Sat 16-Sep-23 21:25:13

No! Too much of a rebel to be a Prefect. 🤣 The Prefects were the kids who not only completed their homework but spent hours decorating the margins, covering their books in pretty paper and did far more than was necessary.

nadateturbe Sat 16-Sep-23 22:00:05

Thanks Aveline.

LauraNorderr Sat 16-Sep-23 22:16:35

Very sad nadateturbe, not replying to your letter shows a lack of understanding and sensitivity on the part of current staff members. Shame on them.
Shows your strength of character that you tried to make things better for others.
I was too much of a rebel to ever be a prefect but Orlin was.
Not much has changed. He’s always quite sensible and has a special ‘smug look’ when I’m being a bit daft and it goes wrong.

silverlining48 Sat 16-Sep-23 22:32:06

Might have been ink monitor in primary school but that’s about it.

biglouis Sat 16-Sep-23 22:39:52

I was never naughty enough to get expelled. Probably the closest I came to it was when I broke a boy's nose for bullying me. When I whinged at home my father gave me boxing lessons. Fortunately the bully and his mates had been terrorising the first year girls for weeks, and several of them spoke up. The boy was carted off to hospital and never returned. I was never bullied again.

I guess the teachers decided pretty earlyafter that I was not prefect material.

However once we had taken GCEs I saw little point in hanging around in school. Quite a few of us were constantly "sagging off" and going into Liverpool to look around the shops or sit in the cinema. By that time we were smart enough to take makeup in our bage to make us look older and change out of school uniform in someones house. So we never got pulled up by the local coppers.

I never got involved in the boyfriend antics - I was too busy swatting up for GCEs. I know that at least three of the girls I went to school with were pregnant by 16.

I wasnt one of them.

Callistemon21 Sat 16-Sep-23 22:43:59

I still have my project's badge somewhere. How sad is that 😃

Being just a bit naughty as you go through school helps you to know all the dodges so you can recognise them when you become a prefect.

Callistemon21 Sat 16-Sep-23 22:44:29


Prefect's badge

Callistemon21 Sat 16-Sep-23 22:45:45


Might have been ink monitor in primary school but that’s about it.

I was milk monitor at infants' school 🥛
The milk was frozen up out of the bottles in winter and gone off in summer.

Callistemon21 Sat 16-Sep-23 22:47:06

nadateturbe that is sad and I do hope no school treats a child like that now.

Grammaretto Sat 16-Sep-23 22:53:17

Nadataterbe what a horrid school!

Deedaa Sat 16-Sep-23 22:58:48

I just asked DD about the prefect thing. Apparently she and her friend were made Senior Prefects which meant they got to tell the ordinary prefects what to do but didn't have to do any prefecting themselves. And now she tells a laboratory full of people what to do - although she does complain that she hardly ever gets to do any of the work herself.

nadateturbe Sat 16-Sep-23 23:09:35

Thanks LauraNorderr and Callistemon.
University wasn't to be....

Maggiemaybe Sat 16-Sep-23 23:10:21

What a dreadful way to treat a child, nadateturbe, and it’s awful that they didn’t reply to your letter.

I wasn’t prefect material, but at my school every girl in the UVI was given the designation, so we all had dinner time duties etc, which I carried out much as vampirequeen did. grin We had to run a dinner time club for the younger girls at some stage as well - as I recall my History Club had three participants at the height of its popularity. The real power lay with the 12 or so members of “the committee”, including the head girl and her deputy, handpicked by the headteacher and well-behaved upper middle class girls every one.

maddyone Sun 17-Sep-23 00:18:37