The Sentencing Bill White Paper from the Ministry of Justice commits the government to opening the first Secure School – a replacement for youth jail – in Kent in 2022, which Oasis Charitable Trust has been appointed to develop and run.
Rev. Steve Chalke, the Founder and Leader of Oasis said: “Our national systems – of welfare, health, education, housing, etc. – are failing the most vulnerable young people who, as a result, all too frequently find themselves caught in a persistent loop of exclusion that defines their future and inhibits their life chances.
“Working in partnership with the government, NHS England and Improvement and a range of other partners across the charitable and public sector, it is our job to bring about much needed radical change.
“With a vision focused on restoration rather than retribution, and creating a safe environment with a holistic approach to education, care and health, this unique project is at the very forefront of a long awaited revolution in youth justice. The Secure School places therapeutic, integrated and bespoke support for children, along with pathways for successful transition designed to enable them to make different choices and lead positive, productive lives at the very heart of the youth secure estate for the first time.”
Oasis will work with NHS England to ensure that the delivery of primary health care, health education and therapeutic interventions are fully integrated into the daily provision and culture of the secure school – creating holistic and inter-disciplinary care that meets each young person’s needs.
Having working hard on preparations for the secure school for the last year, Oasis is now seeking to appoint a project Director.
“We’re looking an exceptional leader to join us on the journey to realise this vision; someone who will bring their values, passion, character, expertise, networks and drive to lead Oasis Restore”, commented Clare Wilson, Secure School Implementation Lead for Oasis.
“Oasis is also committed to developing a restorative service network to create pathways for children that support their transition into the community or wider custodial estate – we know that whatever care is delivered inside the secure school needs to be sustainable in the real world.”
“The overall number of further offences committed by children has fallen by more than a quarter – over 17,000 – in the last two years alone. However, those who remain are now much more likely to have a complex mix of problems, including persistent absence from school, mental health issues and family problems.
“That’s why secure schools are so vital. Health and education are key to unlocking the potential of these vulnerable children and diverting them away from a life of crime.”
Lucy Frazer, Youth Justice Minister.
Founded 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.
Currently (2020) in England, Oasis has over 6,000 staff as well as thousands of volunteers, working with some 1,200 homeless or vulnerably housed young adults each year, and are responsible for 35,000 students in 53 schools in challenging communities.
Oasis Restore – Oasis Vision
A holistic, integrated, safe environment
We will develop a sense of community, a place of safety where every child is given the opportunity to make a contribution, reach their potential, build on individual strengths and develop life and social skills that support their transition from the school.
A therapeutic model of care with a growth mindset
We will develop psychologically informed practice across all our systems and processes. All our staff and volunteers will be committed to the belief that change is possible and to building our students’ resilience, health, literacy, numeracy as well as emotional and social intelligence.
An ambitious and enquiry-based education offer
We will promote enquiry through social pedagogy and learning that is practical, multi-sensory, person-centred, and aspirational. We will offer a balanced and differentiated vocational and enrichment curriculum that equips students with a sense of purpose and the necessary work-life skills and qualifications for pro-social functioning. We will develop technical skills and competencies that will be accredited.
Pathways for transition into community from day one
We will work with the students from their first day with us to prepare for their transition pathway in order that they are equipped to make a positive contribution and are hopeful about their continued progress.
Daniel Marsh – Press Officer (National)
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