Young people smiling playing tug of war

Oasis Restore: England’s first Secure School gains Royal Assent


Therapeutic, integrated education, health and care become the key to unlocking the potential of vulnerable children in custody and diverting them away from a life of crime

“Oasis Restore marks a revolution in the youth justice system, because it brings the care and rehabilitation of children in custody in line with our 21st century understanding of neuroscience” says Revd. Steve Chalke, Oasis Founder.

England’s first Secure School which is set to open in 2023 in Rochester, Medway, has been given the green light for charitable status after the new legislation to create it receives royal assent.

Although there has been an overall drop in the number of young people in custody over recent years, those who are in the secure estate are highly vulnerable, have committed more serious crimes, and have a complex mix of needs.

Oasis Restore will provide integrated, evidence-based, therapeutic practice across education, social care and health. The goal is to enable children to leave the criminal justice system with a good education, life skills, improved social and emotional well-being, thus reducing reoffending rates, creating better opportunities to succeed, and cutting the cost of crime.

Working with NHS England & Improvement, Oasis will deliver values-led care embedded into the daily provision and culture of the Secure School – creating provision that meets the whole needs of the children.

Steve Chalke continued; “You can’t help a child by harming them. Oasis Restore will provide an environment where young people feel safe and secure.

“This pioneering government policy is a breakthrough in youth justice because it allows an independent charitable company – known as a Secure Academy Trust – to run and manage a custodial estate for the very first time.

“We are an autonomous, non-profit organisation with a whole school, integrated approach to improving outcomes for our students. 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.

“Our entire workforce will work interdependently to create a culture where children are listened to, where ethos and values prevail over bureaucracy and where therapeutic learning and care is delivered in service of a common vision: to transform children’s life opportunities and reduce offending.

“Oasis is also committed to developing a restorative service network alongside the Secure School because we know that whatever care is delivered while our students are resident with us, needs to be sustained beyond the gates, as we continue to support for them. In this way, we provide them with better life chances, as well as help to reduce reoffending rates, cut the cost of crime, and see safer streets and communities.”

About Oasis and Oasis Restore

Founded by Steve Chalke in 1985, Oasis has been pioneering initiatives that tackle injustice for over three decades. Oasis Charitable Trust is part of the wider Oasis global family that collectively works with society’s most vulnerable people and families with the aim of helping them lift themselves out of poverty. Seeking to achieve this by providing a broad and inclusive range of community development services for vulnerable and isolated people. Oasis’s goal is building communities that are safe, supportive, and full of opportunity.

Oasis Restore is a Secure School enabling young people to live their best lives, through education well-being & hope. We care for children aged 12-18 who are on remand and sentenced to custody by the courts.

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