Melissa Parker, 18-year-old head girl of Skegness grammar, Lincolnshire, says:
"I love my job and think it's a good way to make sure there is communication be-tween teachers and students. Students come to us with concerns and we pass them on to the head. Should a member of the lower school be cheeky to a member of staff or another prefect, or leave their bike where they are not supposed to, all prefects have the power to hand out essays, or lines as a punishment."
Amandip Sembi, 13, who serves on the 12-member school council at Greenford high school, Middlesex says: "I had to convince members of my house in a speech that I could be a valuable member of the school council. We try to make the school a better place for pupils and recently we convinced the headteacher and governors that it was a good idea to buy vending machines for the cafeteria. We are working on getting lockers for pupils and some new computers so we can have better Internet access At the meetings, the teachers treat us as very important people."
Nicola Rossington, 14, a Year 10 pupil and member of the school council at Finham Park school, Coventry, West Midlands, says: "Often students come to us with a problem and ask us to bring it up at the next student-teacher meeting. I have been a council member for three years and have never really felt the need to leave. But by the time some students reach Year 10 and 11 they have so much work to do that they find it difficult to attend the meetings."
Patrick O'Brien, 15-year-old deputy head boy at St Mary's RC high school, Lugwardine, Hereford, Herefordshire, was chosen by staff. He says: "Being chosen as a prefect is an important sign of maturity. We are always on duty looking around to see that everything is going well. We often have lunchtime duties, making sure that no pupil is wandering around the building without permission, and being on hand to help other pupils."