Children's lives, education, and secure care in Scotland

Gough, Alison and Lightowler, Claire; Gallard, Diahann and Evans, Katharine and Millington, James, eds. (2018) Children's lives, education, and secure care in Scotland. In: Children and Their Education in Secure Accommodation. Taylor and Francis Inc., Oxon, pp. 94-116. ISBN 9781315528205 (

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This chapter talks about the lives of children and young people who experience secure care in Scotland. It explores the history of the Scottish secure care sector, in the context of prevailing narratives and assumptions about children in difficulty and their education. The secure care centres commended by inspection bodies evidenced highly effective arrangements for identifying children's needs within integrated assessment and staff training and professional development frameworks. All of the young people spoke positively about group activities and opportunities for example team sports and most talked about 'whole school' events such as celebration days and drama productions. They described what this gave them in terms of building confidence, team working and other skills and achievement. Whilst expectations, scrutiny, and recognition of the education provision in secure care have increased, the use of secure care for Scottish children has reduced as outlined and the average length of stay for a Scottish child in secure care during 2015 to 2016.