As part of the Department’s promise to put education at the heart of youth custody, it has published guidance setting out the expectations and requirements for prospective Secure School providers.
This is the first step in delivering on the commitment to build new Secure Schools and has been developed in close partnership with charities, trusts and partners who specialise in working with children and young people.
This innovative approach to education in a secure environment will combine the ethos and best practice of schools with the structure and support of secure children’s homes.
For the first-time ever - educators will be given the independence to run unique custodial establishments, shaping their own tailored curriculum with greater flexibility and control of their custodial environment.
Secure Schools will have up to 70 places, and will be run by not for profit child-focused and creative providers who will put education, healthcare and purposeful activity at the heart of their work to rehabilitate young offenders.
Potential Secure Schools providers can now start preparing applications in anticipation of the opening of a formal application window later in the year.
The number of young people in custody has fallen significantly, from around 3,000 in 2010 to approximately 1,000 today, but those who remain in the system have challenging and complex needs and have often been deprived of their chance at education. Secure Schools will demand and deliver ambitious standards for all young people, engaging them fully in education and physical activity, to divert them away from their criminal past.
There have been challenges across the youth estate with unacceptable levels of violence. But there are early signs that standards are improving, with recent inspectorate reports on Feltham and Werrington YOIs praising the significant improvements in safety and child protection. Secure Schools aim to build on this and set the standards and direction for future youth custodial provision.
Secure Schools are just one of the many areas of reform being driven forward by the government, with the Justice Secretary recently launching a new Education and Employment Strategy to set prisoners on a path to employment from the day they arrive in custody. This impacts across the estate and Secure Schools will form a key part of embedding education at the core of youth custody.
source gov.uk 04.06.18