International School of South Africa


Student Leadership

An important part of what we offer as a School is the opportunity for the personal development of each student, including the development of leadership skills and the capacity of students to lead. It is important for students to understand that there are different types of leadership, underpinned by the core concept of servant leadership – which one serves others by leading. Apart from opportunities in the School environment per se, across the whole gamut of the School’s activities, personal and leadership development are at the core of the Outward Bound Camp (Form Four), the Spirit of Adventure Camp (Form 5) and the Leadership Camp (Form 6).

There are a number of different avenues at senior level to be explored to enable students to exercise leadership, other than the responsibilities taken on in specific activities – e.g. as the captain of a sports team. These include Prefect ship, the Mentor/Mentee programme, the Portfolio system, and Parliament, a student body which falls under the Prefect Body. In the area of Prefect ship, there is a process to be followed for these appointments. In principle the process enables input from students as well as staff before meetings as set out in the process below are held.

Leadership recognition beyond the Prefect Body is addressed via the ‘Full Colours for Leadership’ award, outlined below. This award enables 6th Form students not on the Prefect Body to be recognised for their leadership according to the outlined process. This underline’s the School’s belief in the capacity of students to take the lead; it takes into account also the fact that students develop at different rates. For positions such as Prefect ship, and Leadership awards, a student’s behaviour and decorum may be taken into account, and form part of discussions which are part of the process. Should an incumbent be in serious breach of the School regulations, they may face removal from a leadership position.


The Portfolio System


· Academic
· Cultural
· Sport
· Spirit
· Public Relations
· The environment
· Community Service (Interact)
· Mentor/ Mentee Programme

The purpose of the Portfolio system is to provide another avenue for senior students to lead and to take responsibility, ideally in areas where they are already involved/ have an interest. There will be Prefect representation on each portfolio, but other portfolio members are expected to take the lead. To assist with inter-house event organisation, we would also like a Colour House representative on each portfolio.

This process will include Form 5 and Form 6 students this year, with the Form 5’s fulfilling a shadowing role in some cases.

The role of portfolio members also is to support members of staff overseeing that area of the school e.g. in Academic the portfolio members will support Ms Makhan in structuring peer tutoring processes and other such mechanisms.



We strive for high academic standards and we are proud of our good reputation in the local and wider community. Prefects will have the opportunity to share in the leadership of this school and it is a very prestigious responsibility.

A Prefect is a role model and one will be expected to uphold the School’s values and Code of Conduct to a very high standard. Prefect’s behaviour, attitude to work and appearance must be exemplary and we expect prefects to represent the school positively in the local and wider community. The Prefect Body engages with the staff Prefect Committee and Management on policy and other matters which may arise. As a Prefect one will have a number of additional roles and responsibilities including supervising younger students at break and lunch times, guiding visitors around the school and helping out at school events like Parents’ Evenings.
Student leaders at the International School of South Africa must be responsible, diligent, hardworking and ready to represent the school at any given time. The position requires forward thinking, confident individuals who will introduce new ideas to the school and maintain our positive ethos based on our school’s Values and Mission. All positions will act as a link between teachers and students so one needs to be a good communicator and a person who is taken seriously and is well respected.

It must be remembered that there are different types of leadership, and we would expect all students to express interest in being considered for the Prefect Body. We would expect all leaders to understand the concept of servant leadership – that one serves others by leading. It is accepted that the Prefect Body forms the Executive of the 6th Form Leadership Group. It must be remembered that there are a number of other areas for 6th Form students to take the lead, including: the Mentor/Mentee programme; the Portfolio system; Parliament; the Colour House programme; all Extramural activities and Interact. The Full Colours award for Leadership enables students who stand out in any of these roles to be recognised after due process has been followed. Naturally such involvement is also recorded in students’ testimonials and references from the School.

(Only 6th Form students are eligible for this award)


The School has broadened the number of Leadership responsibilities for the 6th Form Leadership Group beyond the Prefect group through the Portfolio System and the Mentor/ Mentee programme. These are in addition to the other established opportunities in the School across all activities and clubs for students to take the lead.

It is accepted that in any given form at the International School of South Africa there are many students who have the potential to lead. In addition, students develop and grow at different rates; thus it is often the case that students may come to the fore and exercise leadership at different times during their AS and A Level years. The School believes it is important that there be an opportunity for such students to be recognised formally within school structures following a process. This is the purpose of the ‘Full Colours for Leadership’ Award.

Full Colours for Leadership

This award recognises 6th Form students who have taken the lead, who are not part of the Prefect body. Candidates can be considered for the role they have played in one or more areas of school life. Candidates being considered for Full Colours for Leadership would have the following criteria taken into account.


● Servant leadership
● Initiative
● Example (being a positive role model)
● Reliability, responsibility and accountability
● Follow-through / completion of tasks
● Commitment and dedication
● Organisational skills
● Dress, discipline, decorum and conduct
● Effective leadership










Parliament is a student representative body established as a pilot programme in 2014, and then implemented more formally in 2015. Parliament is made up of class representatives from Form 3 upwards, with AS and A Level classes having two representatives each.

Parliament serves as an information sharing body, with two-way communication between School Management and the student body. This communication channel is in addition to the communication channel already established with the Prefect Body, who have been appointed following a nomination process involving the student body. Similarly, Parliament is guided by the School’s values and Code of Conduct. .
Parliament falls under the Prefect Body, and extends student input and involvement. A member of the Prefect Executive fulfils the function of ‘State President’, while Parliament elects its own ‘Prime Minister’.

Meetings are overseen by the MIC of Parliament. Meetings will be attended by members of School Management as required to ensure that communication lines and feedback are expedited. A good example of effective feedback and communication was the debate surrounding hair regulations in 2016 and early 2017 – where consensus was reached very quickly on key aspects, and the matter taken forward constructively.

Other Opportunities for Leadership

In addition to the Portfolio system opportunities for Leadership are evident in all areas of school life. These include:

  •  Involvement in Parliament, a student representative body made up of Class representatives, and falling under the Prefect body;
  • Hostel Prefects and/ or Hostel monitors
  • Captains of Sports teams
  • Custodians in Sport or other activities
  • Chairmen or leaders in Cultural activities
  • Taking the lead in any of the many other activities offered by the School.