The UK’s first secure school – an education-focused alternative to youth jails – is to be run by an academy trust that specialises in schools in deprived areas. The Guardian reports.
Oasis Charitable Trust, which runs 52 academies across England, will manage the secure school on the site of the Medway secure training centre in Kent.
Plans to create the establishments as an alternative to youth jails were announced in 2016 after a review called for fundamental change to the youth custody system. The report found that children in public-sector young offender institutions (YOIs) were only receiving 15 hours of education a week on average, compared with an expected level of 30 hours.
The facilities allow for any boy or girl aged 12 to 17 who is remanded or sentenced into youth detention accommodation to be placed into secure schools.
Three-quarters of Oasis’s academies operate in the UK’s most deprived areas and most were rated by Ofsted as failing at the time they were taken over.
The justice minister Edward Argar said: “I have been impressed by Oasis’s dedication to improving the lives of young people and its track record across education, health and youth work. We will now work closely with them on detailed proposals to ensure high standards from day one.”
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