The TES is reporting that prisons for young offenders could be turned into “high-quality” free schools under plans being considered by the government,
The radical overhaul of youth custody would involve offenders serving their sentences in “secure schools” instead of young offender institutions (YOIs).
The plan is based on recommendations from a review of youth justice, ordered by the government last year, and carried out by Charlie Taylor, the former chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).
The findings from Mr Taylor, a former headteacher who left the NCTL in August last year, suggest that the system would be more effective in rehabilitating young people if education was placed at its heart.
There are currently five YOIs and three secure training centres for young people in England and Wales.
Under the proposals, these would be replaced by secure schools that would help children to master the basics in English and maths and provide high-quality vocational education “in a more therapeutic environment”.
Young people would stay at them full-time for the duration of their sentence…
Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed the government will explore using processes for establishing free schools to set up secure academies for young offenders.
He said: “In short, this will mean turning existing young offender institutions (YOIs) into what will effectively be high-quality schools that will demand the highest standards…”
Is there merit in the idea of replacing prisons for young offenders into secure schools with a greater emphasis on education?
Would it be a meaningful difference?
Please give us your feedback and arguments for or against the idea in the comments or via Twitter…
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