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Want a new challenge? Then join our fantastic team!
We run regular recruitment sessions across the year. Find out all about working at our centre and see the latest vacancies at Working for us

Working for us

Working at Aycliffe Secure Centre is not just a job, it is one of the most rewarding career choices you could make. Yes, the role could be challenging and physically stretching, but if you are looking for a job that gives you the chance to make a real difference, Aycliffe Secure Centre could be the place for you.

Our centre is rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.

Why work for Aycliffe Secure Centre?

The difference we make to the lives of our young people is extremely valuable and we want our staff to feel appreciated. As an employee you can expect:

  • 26 days holidays per year increasing to 31 after five years continuous local government service
  • Option to purchase up to 10 additional days annual leave per year through our salary sacrifice scheme
  • Contributory career average salary pension scheme
  • Pay enhancements for unsociable hours
  • Trade Union membership
  • Discounted gym membership
  • Travel loan scheme
  • Employee Assistance Scheme
  • Occupational Health Service
  • Staff recognition scheme - "Great Staff - Great Stuff"
  • Opportunities for personal development and career progression
  • Discounts and special offers

Training for new staff

A job at Aycliffe Secure Centre starts with a 4-week induction programme, this includes a range of formal and informal learning opportunities delivered in-house that we feel will equip you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to carry out your role safely and effectively.

Our Residential Workers are required to hold a Level 3 Diploma in Child Care (or equivalent) so if you haven't already got it, we will support you to achieve it within the first 18 months of your employment with us.


Support is so important and there is so much available - this includes one to one time with your manager, group discussion with your peers and more specialised support with a professional should it be needed.

It takes a large, dedicated team to deliver the type of care and support we are describing and it would be impossible to list every role but here are just a few:

  • Residential Care Workers
  • Waking Nights Workers
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Psychologists

Residential Worker

The role of a Residential Worker is really varied, through daily contact with our young people, you will start to understand each one as an individual which helps you deliver support and care that's right for them.

There are lots of things going on in Aycliffe Secure Centre, you could be cooking or playing football one day, spending the afternoon in the pool the next and then out for a trip to the cinema, no two days are the same for a Residential Worker.

Waking Nights Worker

Our Waking Nights Workers are key to the delivery of 24-hour care for our young people in Aycliffe Secure Centre.  You will be that person providing night-time support when the house quietens down and our young people have time to reflect on the day.

You will contribute to care plans, participate in reviews and share your observations with senior members of the team to ensure care is constant.

Homes Manager

As a Homes Manager you will have responsibility for the day to day running of the home including the care of the young people within that home and the management of a multi-functional team.

You will ensure stringent practices and procedures are always adhered to, this includes the robust admissions process to the centre, the following of safeguarding and child protection protocols as well as ensuring discharge runs smoothly and successfully.

Teaching staff

Our teaching staff are there to ensure our young people have the very best opportunities to achieve in the exact same way mainstream school operates.

Teaching can be challenging at Aycliffe Secure Centre given the complex histories of our young people; however, a varied curriculum ensures every young person has access to learning opportunities that are right for them.

Career Progression

Given the size and scale of the service, there are opportunities to progress your career within Aycliffe Secure Centre should you want to, many of our team have taken the following route into senior roles:

Residential Worker > Senior Residential Worker > Assistant Homes Manager > Homes Manager

Hear from Chris Robson - Senior Residential Worker, Aycliffe Secure Centre

I have worked at Aycliffe Secure Centre for over 4 years , I started as a Residential Worker and was promoted  to a Senior Residential Worker.

Before working at Aycliffe Secure Centre I'd worked with adults with autism and challenging behaviour in a supported living setting and it was a Social Worker there that suggested Aycliffe Secure Centre to me, she thought the skills I had in supported living would be ideal for secure children's work.

I really enjoy my job; it can be challenging physically and emotionally and I am tested by the young people in my care on a daily basis but I can see beyond that.  I can see how frightening it can be for our young people, many of them have moved away from family, friends and the life they knew. They have to start again and have to adapt to new ways of doing things, a new place to sleep and most importantly, new rules and boundaries.

Aycliffe Secure Centre is a great place to work, I have a great team who pull together, there are opportunities for development if I want them and I've got a supportive management team who give me feedback and encouragement when I need it. This isn't a typical workplace so taking time to understand the role, find your feet and reflect is so important, you will not succeed with every young person and that's ok.

Our young people come to us from all over the country so one of the biggest challenges they face is adapting to their new home, a new culture and nearly always - our strong northern accent. It's so important to be patient and to work at building positive relationships so at times when they  become upset, angry or frustrated, you can talk to them, reason with them and help them to understand how to handle the situation better.

We're often referred to as the corporate parent and that's exactly how I see myself, I'm there to be the parent that challenges poor behaviour, the parent that has to say no on regular basis and that doesn't make me popular at times.

If I had to think of a set of skills that were essential to work at Aycliffe Secure Centre, I'd say resilience, you must be able to bounce back and certainly not take things personally, you must be organised and be ready to change plans at short notice - things change and you must be ready to respond. Communication skills are important, listening and responding to what you see and hear so you can support and signpost if its needed.

Contact us
Aycliffe Secure Centre
03000 263 000
Our address is:
  • Copelaw
  • Newton Aycliffe
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL5 6JB