Oakhill Secure Training Centre, Milton Keynes, has received a clean bill of health after being placed on notice by the Youth Justice Board for failings including the excessive use of force on young offenders.
Justice minister David Hanson said yesterday that the YJB had withdrawn “rectification notices” imposed on the privately-run centre for failing to meet its contractual obligations, after Ofsted had graded the STC as “satisfactory” in an inspection conducted in December.
In a written ministerial statement, Hanson said the STC had “addressed all of the deficiencies which had been identified” and was now able to operate at full capacity, having been previously prevented from doing so by the YJB.
New management team
Ofsted graded Oakhill as ‘inadequate’ in its previous inspection, which took place last June. Shortly after that almost the entire senior management changed, under the new leadership of John Parker, formerly head of Rainsbrook STC.
The latest inspection report, published yesterday, said most of the 25 recommendations made in the June report had been addressed. Inspectors found improved staff morale, consistency of practice and outcomes for young people, including in terms of behaviour management.
It said the centre had improved from satisfactory to good since last June in protecting children from harm or neglect and helping them stay safe.
Inspectors found fewer people had been subject to restraint or removals from association than in the recent past, and the number of disciplinary incidents per trainee had fallen to less than half the number in June.
Restraint as last resort
On restraint, which had been a significant problem in the past, the report said there were “very clear strategies” to ensure it was used as a last resort and that all staff had had refresher training in the use of restraint.
The report also found that child protection procedures were “clear, transparent and effective” and that there were positive professional relationships between the centre and the local safeguarding team and safeguarding children board.