The government has today opened applications for specialist, not-for-profit education providers to apply to run the UK’s first Secure School. This provides a custodial setting for young people which is focused on education and health services. GOV.UK reports.
This is the very first example of this establishment in the UK. Based at Medway, it will offer up to 70 places for boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 17 and will predominantly serve the South East, including London – a crucial area of demand. Headteachers will be given complete autonomy to run a tailored curriculum.
Justice Minister Edward Argar said, “Today’s publication of the ‘How to Apply Guidance’ is a crucial step in our ongoing commitment to reform youth custody and equip children with the skills they need to live successful, crime-free lives on release.”
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System Lord Agnew said “All children deserve the chance to fulfil their potential regardless of their background or circumstances – a high quality education can be the key to helping young offenders get their lives back on track.”
“Academies are rich in expertise and innovation that could be extended to helping these young people and I hope to see them putting themselves forward for this.”
The Ministry of Justice has engaged with and listened to over 150 stakeholders to ensure the Secure Schools model is built on evidence and shaped by best practice.
The application process has been designed to ensure a wide range of organisations is able to make a strong application, including those with less experience of bidding for government contracts – resulting in a provider with genuine expertise and experience in this field. It will run until February 2019 before a provider is announced in the summer – with the aim of the school opening in Autumn 2020.
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