The Panel of Prefects concept was started with the beginning of College in 1950. The first Principal of the school Mr. Douglas Earle Allen Schokman who was a Kingswoodian who had taught at Trinity was keen that Thurstan too should have all the trappings that the Public Schools of that era practiced, a House system, Prefects system, Literary & other Cultural Societies, Sports, Cadets & Scout troop were formed. He ensured that the Panel of Prefects was chosen by the Staff & himself from the boys who were in the upper classes. Subhas Chawla had the honour of being the first Head Prefect at Thurstan.
The Prefects acts as the liaison between Principal, Staff and the rest of the student population. By virtue of being a Prefect, Leadership is entrusted on oneself. Those who have developed the leadership qualities while being a Prefect have become successful personnel in later life.
Up to about the 1980’s only 12 students from the Advance Level classes were chosen as Prefects by the Principal and the staff of the school. Invariably the Cricket & Rugby Captains & the Cadet Senior Sergeant were chosen as Prefects for the leadership qualities in their respective disciplines. These identified boys were looked upon with awe by the rest of the students. These were certainly coveted positions in the school. There was the Head Prefect, but there were no Deputies elected.
However with the advent of the Tuition craze to pass the intensively competitive Advance Level examination, some of the boys who were identified as Prefects refused to accept this coveted post. They did not want to indulge in any activities other than studies and the schools authorities were in a dilemma on how to choose the Panel of Prefects.
Thus the era of final year Advance Level students applying for Prefectship came into being in the later part of the 1980’s. Any Student in the final year Advance Level Class is eligible to apply. They have to sit an examination in which they are tested on history of Thurstan & the current General Knowledge. Those who are successful have to face an interview with the Principal & thus the Panel of Prefects is chosen. The Head Prefect and 3 Deputies are chosen from those who have sat the AL examination & who have been Prefects the previous year.
From the year 2003, in addition to the Head Prefect & 3 Deputies, 10 Senior Prefects were retained from those who served the previous year. This was a step taken to ease the burden of the Prefects who were sitting the Advance Level the first time. As at the beginning, the Prefects still continue to liaise with the students & the School Management in the day to day activities of the school. In addition they are called to undertake special projects for the school.