The School Officers’ Guild (SOG) consists of The Senior Prefect (Head Boy), Prefects, School Officers and School Officer Nominees. The SOG has a legacy spanning over a century.
School Officers are vested with special authority by the Principal and are expected to discharge their duties without fear or favour and with unwavering consistency.
School Officer Appointments
A School Officer Nominee is appointed through a structured process: Only students of Grade 13 are given the opportunity to apply for School Officer-ship. Applicants also require recommendations from two senior members of staff.
Applicants are then interviewed by the Principal, Vice Principal, Co-Vice Principal and Chaplain, and are judged on their character and discipline, as well as academic, sports and co-curricular performance.
Selected applicants are announced at school assembly and take office as School Officer Nominees. This is a six to eight month probationary appointment, after which, depending on their performance, they are 'pledged' as School Officers.
When this set of School Officers reach Grade 14, their second year, they are called Senior School Officers.
The incumbent Senior Prefect and Prefects will hold office until the second week of February (the time of the Upper School Prize Giving).
A week after Prize Giving, applications are invited from Senior School Officers for the post of Prefects. They face a similar interview process as before. Prefects are appointed at an Assembly following the end of the interviews.
Principal, Vice Principal, Co-Vice Principal and the Chaplain will also name the Senior Prefect from the nominated group of Prefects.
Usually there is a group of 60 School Officers for a year headed by 16 Prefects.
School Prefects are chosen from the set of Senior School Officers, and they are chosen based on their qualities of leadership, loyalty, commitment, responsibility and their contribution to the School Officers' Guild.
The School administration also gives an opportunity for the incumbent board of prefects to submit a list of nominations of possible Prefects, as it is the Prefects who work closely with the School Officers.
The Prefects are given the task of making sure the School Officer Nominees do not stray away from their duties, and guiding them to ensure they are properly moulded and ready to take over the senior duties in the future.
The Prefects play a major part in maintaining discipline of the school and they are considered as the leaders of the student body; ever willing to make sure that the students are always well behaved, leading by example, and supporting the Senior Prefect in discharging the responsibilities of the School Officers' Guild.
The Senior Prefect (Head Boy)
As per custom, the Senior Prefect is appointed on the third Monday of each February, after the Upper School Prize Giving (which takes place on the second Friday of every February).
The former Senior Prefect ends his term after delivering the customary Vote of Thanks in the Prize Giving and with a request for a holiday from the Chief Guest.
The primary task of the Head Boy is to mediate between students and school administration. He is expected to be the voice for the student body. He has a reserved seat at assembly and chapel services and students are not permitted to leave premises prior to him.
The Senior Prefect is expected to reside in college premises in the “Senior Prefect’s Lodge” which is a part of the hostel, thereby allowing him to supervise activities during and after school hours.
Traditionally, the Senior Prefect carries the College flag at the Lord Bishop’s visit (Trinity Day) and at the Bradby Shield encounter. At the annual Carol Service and Easter Service, Senior Prefect (or a Prefect in line) is offered the opportunity to recite a Bible lesson alongside the Principal and Vice Principal.
An extract from the Trinity College Centenary Magazine (1872-1972) written by Valesca Reimann:
"Discipline is reputedly Trinity’s forte. The boys of Trinity have learned to respond to the call for behaviour that is in the larger interests of the whole group, not in any way anti-social. This discipline is, therefore, compounded chiefly, with loyalty to the group, of self-restraint in concern for others. If Trinity College has, over the years, succeeded in this respect it is primarily due to the introduction of the Prefect System in 1905 under the direct guidance of then Principal, Rev. A.G. Fraser.
The history records the appointment of four School Prefects at the beginning. The four pioneers in what has proved to be one of the most valuable institutions in this school were J.S. Daniel, C.B. Aluwihare, R.S. Tennekoon and P.C. Dedigama. There is no need to labour the pros and cons of putting boys in charge of boys. It is enough simply to say that at Trinity, it has worked and continues to work in spite of its undeniable draw-backs.
By and large, over the years, boys have, as we have already had occasion to say elsewhere, first learned to respect authority and later to use it with good sense and restraint.
With the tremendous improvement in the tone of the School after the appointment of the first school Prefects, the system was then extended whereby Monitors were appointed to fulfil the same role. The same system still prevails today with few minor changes. School Officers are of two ranks, School Monitors who are subsequently promoted on merit to School Prefect if they are considered to have made the grade."