Learndirect ‘financially stable’ despite Ofsted probe, firm insists

The TES is reporting that the country’s biggest training provider could lose more than £100m in government funding as a result of the inspection report

Learndirect has insisted that its business remains “stable”, despite the imminent publication of a critical Ofsted report.

The inspectorate has said it will publish a report on the country’s largest training provider – employing more than 1,600 people – on Thursday, which is expected to rate its provision as “inadequate”. This is likely to trigger the termination of its funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Learndirect’s ESFA allocations for 2016-17 were worth more than £100 million. The agency’s funding agreements allow for early termination where there are issues of quality, which can be triggered by an “inadequate” Ofsted rating. The move would also have significant ramifications for the firm’s subcontractors. In 2015-16, it used 64 different subcontractors for delivery.

The unpublished Ofsted report relates to an inspection of the Sheffield-based provider in March by 17 inspectors over a four-day period. The company said it was “extremely disappointed” with the verdict, but said it continued to be focused on supporting its learners “as usual”.

A spokesman for Ofsted said it was “very pleased” that an injunction lodged by Learndirect, blocking the publication of the report, had been lifted. 

More at: Learndirect ‘financially stable’ despite Ofsted probe, firm insists

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