A positive education aspect has emerged from the Act that was passed through a few weeks ago. There has tragically been a significant number of problems emerged from the recent The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act. Indeed a lot of the House of Lords amendments got rejected by the Government. I recall how the number of people in favour of those amendments included many within the Conservative Party. However the MPs were persuaded to reject the amendments in order to support their Government. Thankfully a positive has emerged a couple of days ago and indeed it is something that will enable a charity to do something that should have happened several years ago and it has cost a great deal more than was the initial case due to the Government previously. The positive has come to Steve Chalke who I have had the opportunity to meet and indeed to support him on occasions. The information came from this article in the Children and Young People Now scheme which is an online magazine. The author of the piece is Joe Lepper and the headline is
ENGLAND’S FIRST SECURE SCHOOL GAINS ROYAL ASSENT
The first secure school to open in England has been granted royal assent, following the passing of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.
The secure school, called Oasis Restore, is being run by the Oasis Charitable Trust and is due to open next year in Medway. Its legal footing this week also paves the way for the school to apply for charitable status through the Charity Commission. The secure school aims to focus on young inmates’ education, health and social care as well as reduce reoffending rates.
The comments that come from Steve include “Oasis Restore will provide an environment where young people feel safe and secure.. Our mission is to deliver an innovative education and care offer that develops a healthy sense of identity and purpose, improves students’ social cognition and emotional intelligence, and supports them as they move forward in life.”
The article then goes on to explain how vital this is to resolve a previous challenge
Oasis Restore will accommodate children aged between 12 and 18 on remand and sentenced to custody. It is located on the site of Medway Secure Training Centre (STC), which was closed due to concerns around the safety of young people. However, its launch has been blighted by delays. It had due to open in 2020 but this was postponed until November 2023. A critical National Audit Office report last month into the setting up of the secure school said that delays had been caused by spiralling costs after its design had to be revised. While its original cost was £4.9m, this has since increased to £36.5m. This report was published amid a warning from the Ministry of Justice and the Prison and Probation Service that the number of children in custody is set to double within the next two years, prompting ministers to consider reopening Rainsbrook STC, which was also closed due to safety concerns.