The Guardian is reporting that the UK’s largest adult training provider had sought to suppress regulator’s rating of ‘inadequate’
Learndirect, the UK’s largest adult training provider, has blamed the government’s austerity programme for its failure to meet the education regulator’s minimum quality standards.
The company, which was privatised by David Cameron’s coalition government in 2011, on Thursday complained that being forced to “manage a reduction in central government funding” was part of the reason why its standards had deteriorated so sharply that Ofsted declared it an “inadequate provider”.
Following the official publication of Ofsted’s damning report – which Learndirect had asked the high court to suppress – the company said it had to deal with a 50% dive in its government funding.
“Like all providers in the sector, we’ve had to manage a reduction in central government funding,” a company spokesman said. “For Learndirect Ltd this totals a 50% reduction in our adult skills funding over the last five years. These funding reductions were made at short notice and required significant changes to the business for it to remain viable.
“Our new senior management team, with the support of our stakeholders, has moved quickly to ensure the business responds to the challenges this poses. This includes diversifying our income streams and starting to address areas that require development.”
The Ofsted report, which was finally published on Thursday, said Learndirect’s directors and senior managers had “failed to take swift and decisive action to stem the decline in performance over the past three years”.
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