It looks like the new Secure School is unlikely to take its first children until April this year at the earliest. The need to replace the boilers at the Medway site means that construction will only be completed this month after which the building will be handed over to Oasis Restore, the charity which will run the new custodial centre for 12-18 year olds.
officials told MPs last March that they were hoping that the first
children could be placed there next month , with the draft
funding agreement specifying an opening date of 5 February. But this
timetable involved the provider occupying the site for frontline training and
systems set-up from October 2023.
Justice Minister Ed Argar said last month that the Secure
School was “on
course to open by Spring.” But further delays seem possible. According
to the latest timeline, the facility will only apply for registration as a
Secure Childrens Home in March. This process can take up
to 4 months, although hopefully this much delayed project will be fast
hope that the Secure School proves to be a workable model which might
eventually take the place of Young Offender Institutions and Secure Training
Centres. By the end of last year, the Ministry of Justice intended to
independent external evaluator to assess whether this might be
possible. I do not know if the evaluation is yet underway.
It’s disappointing to see on the Companies House website, that the confirmation of information about Oasis Restore is overdue. They could face prosecution or being struck off if they don’t provide the information.
Let’s hope it’s just an administrative