Both Starehe Centres have a prefectorial system, enabling students to run and manage many parts of their school.

Prefects are chosen by their peers to serve their fellow students; to act as role models and ‘big brothers or sisters’ that younger students can turn to for help and assistance. Prefects are not ‘bosses’; all students have a sense of ownership, underpinned by the weekly ‘Baraza’; a forum that encourages both openness and accountability.

Learning from each other

Senior prefects train their junior contemporaries, so that effective practices pass smoothly from one generation to the next. This frees up the teachers to concentrate on what they do best; supporting the academic life of the school.

The prefectorial system varies slightly between the two schools, but both share the same structure, starting with the Sub-Prefect.

A Sub-Prefect has powers limited to his/her given area of jurisdiction. A Sub-Prefect is able to give punishment in this area of duty only; outside of this, he/she must seek assistance from a prefect of higher rank. After six months, those who have successfully performed their duties alongside their studies are promoted to House Prefect (boys) or Full Prefect (girls).

A House or Full Prefect has responsibility over the entire school compound, and even outside school. His/her status is recognised with a badge. Some House/Full Prefects are identified as possible leaders and trained to take on the role of Senior House Prefect (boys) or Senior Prefect (girls).

A Senior (House) Prefect or ‘silver star’ takes a leadership role within his/her department or house. A silver star is added to his/her badge.

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A House/Departmental Captain or ‘silver lion’ takes full control of his/her house or department, represents it in official meetings and makes major decisions.

House Captains allocate work to each member of their house via a rota system, organise house members to take part in school activities such as inter-house sport and music festivals and report any maintenance work that needs doing. A House Captain is also responsible for maintaining a vibrant spirit in his/her house.

Departmental Captains are responsible for a particular place, resource or activity such as the Chapel or Library, the Environment or Games. For example, the Environment Captain (or ‘water lion’) at the Boys’ Centre is responsible for conserving water, and the Entertainment Captain at the Girls’ Centre hosts visitors to the school and plans the entertainment programme. A silver lion is added to his/her badge.

A Deputy School Captain or ‘red lion’ is in charge of the general running of the school, organising many of the activities and making major decisions in collaboration with the School Captain. He/she also advises the Director of the school and, at the Boys’ Centre, acts as a ‘court of appeal’ to the student body. A red lion/lioness is added to his/her badge.

The Captain of the School is the head of the Prefectorial force, answerable for their conduct, and the discipline and welfare of students outside class. He/she works closely with the Deputies and the Director and, at the Girls’ Centre, also acts as a ‘court of appeal’ to the student body. A red stripe is added to his/her badge.

A sliding-scale of punishments is available to Prefects – from cleaning duties to weekend labour in the community - and their allocation is strictly controlled.

All students can appeal against their punishment without risk of making it worse.

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Picture of Boys School CaptainsThe trick lies in letter the power of their example far exceed the authority of their rank.

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