MTC updates committee of MPs on action to transform Rainsbrook STC

MTC managing director in the UK, Ian Mulholland, today gave evidence to the House of Commons justice committee on the centre’s progress on tackling an Urgent Notification (UN) issued by Ofsted inspectors in December 2020. The inspectorate identified significant shortfalls during an assessment in October and a follow up visit two months later.

At a follow up assessment in January, inspectors said the centre “understands the culture change that needs to take place” and reported that they could now see “meaningful” change. Chief executive of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, Dr Jo Farrar also told the committee today that she is “confident that MTC is on the right path” in relation to tackling the recommendations set out in the UN.

The committee was briefed on the substantial steps taken to improve the centre since the inspectorate issued their notice including:

  • Changing the way children are admitted to the centre to minimise the transmission risk of Coronavirus (Covid-19) while ensuring children no longer spend periods in isolation.
  • Bringing in new, experienced leadership firstly with Stuart Jessup as an interim director and with Andrew Dickenson, a new permanent director appointed and who will start in April.
  • Appointing a new head of education, specialist education provider and overhauling the curriculum.
  • Investing in training for senior leadership and frontline staff together with enhanced partner agency working.
  • Investing in the centre’s facilities, including the creation of a new sensory unit and appointing trained therapists to support children with learning difficulties.
  • Establishing a new external assurance process and appointed former HMPPS to ensure we are providing sufficient oversight.

As well as briefing members of Parliament today and officials from the Youth Custody Service, the centre has issued regular progress updates to children, their parents/carers and colleagues.

MTC managing director for the UK, Ian Mulholland, said:

“There is a huge amount of disappointment at MTC because of the progress we had made at Rainsbrook STC up until last year.  Since joining MTC in December I have been impressed by their professionalism, dedication and focus on putting the centre right. While we have significant work still left to do, these efforts are paying off and it’s encouraging that inspectors recognised an upward trajectory at the centre in their follow up visit in January.”

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