Welcome to the prison school that will be four times more expensive than Eton

Each room has a shower, toilet, bed, homework desk and TV/media center where the young people can watch the prescribed channels until they are closed between 9.30 pm and 10 pm. For disturbed children with ‘sensory needs’, the screen can stay on with soothing images of waterfalls or forests, or low music.

They can lock their own room doors for privacy during the day, although this can be waived. There are no bars on the windows that they can open to get fresh air, although there is a fine metal mesh, adapted from mental hospitals, to prevent anyone from going in or out.

Like a public school, there will be three ‘houses’ with environmental themes such as river, forest and mountains, each with four ‘apartments’ of two to six bedrooms. There will be dining rooms, lounges and kitchens where they can prepare evening meals when not eating in the main restaurant.

‘We try to do everything like a home’

Andrew Willetts, the head of the school, said: “We try to do everything like a home. We are creating a space that will function as a family, even though we know we are not their parents.”

There is a block of four family rooms – one with kitchen, dining room and sitting room – where parents and siblings can visit and be entertained by the young offenders.

The children – some of whom may be 12 years old – are awakened for breakfast between 7am and 7:30am before doing yoga and mindfulness, followed by morning classes that start at 9am with math and English, with many years behind due to early truancy. , exclusion and crime.

They have a choice of 12 vocational subjects in the afternoon, from hospitality, construction and agricultural studies to music, art and design before going downtime in their apartments. Evening activities include music, arts and sports such as football, basketball, tennis, cricket and gym.

There will be six week terms with two weeks of “vacation” where they can do “enriching” activities such as music, design, sports and Duke of Edinburgh awards. If it works, Oasis sees no reason why they couldn’t do projects like other teens in Africa.

Oasis has a contract to help the young offenders on their way to continuing education in or out of prison and to prepare them for a career. Academic success will be judged by Ofsted, the school’s watchdog.

Asked if the £36.5 million school could be a model for Britain’s most violent teenagers, Mr Raab said: “I am open-minded but we wouldn’t invest if we weren’t sure we had the right targeted approach.”

Celia Sadie, head of welfare, is confident this will happen. When she introduced yoga to the young offenders at Medway’s former secure training center, she said they were immediately open to it.

“It went really well once they got over their initial insecurity and perception that it was a middle-aged thing for white ladies,” she said. “They actually loved it. There’s a pretty good scientific basis for working with children in that physical way.”

Leave a Reply