Transforming Youth Custody: Putting education at the heart of detention

Closed 30 Apr 2013

Opened 14 Feb 2013

Results updated 17 Jan 2014

Much has been achieved by the youth justice system: overall crime and proven offending by young people are down, and fewer young people are entering the criminal justice system and ending up in custody.

However, for serious and persistent young offenders, youth custody is not delivering good enough outcomes.

Secure Colleges

The document highlights how we are setting out plans to introduce a pathfinder Secure College, a new secure educational establishment which will put education at the heart of youth custody. The pathfinder Secure College will open in the East Midlands in 2017 and, if proven successful, will provide a blueprint for a network of Secure Colleges across England and Wales to replace most existing youth custodial provision.

Enhancing existing provision

As well as taking forward our plans to introduce a Secure College, we are improving education provision in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs). At present, 15-17 year olds in YOIs receive an average of only 12 hours contracted education a week. We have launched a competition for new contracts which will seek to more than double the number of hours young people in YOIs spend in education each week.


We are committed to improving the resettlement of young people in order that progress in custody is built upon on release. We want all young people to be returning to suitable accommodation, with more going into education, training or employment and fewer going on to reoffend.



‘Transforming Youth Custody: Putting education at the heart of detention’ describes the Government’s plans for placing high quality education at the centre of youth custody. Plans to reform youth custody will see young people appropriately punished while at the same time learning to take responsibility for their actions and gaining the skills and qualifications they need to lead productive, law-abiding lives. The paper invites views and outline proposals from a wide range of stakeholders and providers describing how they would implement our vision for Secure Colleges.

The consultation paper covers:

  • key information on youth custody and the young people held there;
  • the case for change;
  • our vision for Secure Colleges which place education at the heart of the system.

The main areas for consideration by all respondents are:

  • tailoring education to young people in custody;
  • meeting the wider needs of young people in custody;
  • closing the gap between custody and community;
  • the physical environment and meeting demand;
  • a focus on outcomes.

All responses should be submitted by 30 April 2013. We will be unable to consider responses (including outline proposals) received after this date.

Responses and outline proposals can also be submitted to:

Transforming Youth Custody consultation
Ministry of Justice
8.19, 102 Petty France


Consultation events

Thank you for your interest in the Transforming Youth Custody consultation. To provide interested parties with the opportunity to discuss the proposals contained in the consultation document we have held open events in Leeds, London and Cardiff and it has been very welcome to get such strong, active participation from a range of organisations and individuals.

A further event will be held on 17 April. Join Chris Grayling, The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, at the Oasis People's Parliament. The Secretary of State will present a keynote speech on the Government's vision for Transforming Youth Custody. This People's Parliament event is an opportunity to ask questions, put your point across and take part in discussion.

Timings and Venue

Wednesday 17 April, 19:15 - 20:30
The Oasis Centre, 75 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HS

For full details on the event and to register for your place please visit the
Oasis People's Parliament website.


  • Businesses
  • Citizens
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Youth workers
  • Young people
  • Charities
  • Young offender institute staff
  • Staff at prisons with mother and baby units
  • Offenders
  • Victims
  • Youth Offending Team workers


  • Courts
  • Public Bodies
  • Youth Justice
  • Criminal justice