Public Accounts Committee to call Learndirect hearing in wake of NAO investigation

The public accounts committee has scheduled a hearing to review the Learndirect saga on January 15 in the New Year, FE Week understands.

The meeting will dissect the findings of tomorrow’s National Audit Office report, which was called for by the PAC’s chair, Meg Hillier (pictured above), and looks into the circumstances surrounding the monitoring, inspection and funding of the nation’s biggest FE provider.

It is understood that witnesses to be called to the hearing will include Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman, Learndirect boss Andy Palmer, former ESFA chief Peter Lauener, and the Department for Education’s permanent secretary, Jonathan Slater.

Learndirect was offered special treatment after the government allowed it to retain its contracts for almost a year – much more than the usual three-month termination period – even though the provider was given an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted in a report published in August.