There appears to be a worrying disconnect between the DfE and Ofsted over their approaches to substandard apprenticeship provision from newcomers to the market.

Ofsted came down hard on Key6 Group in the first of its early monitoring reports on these types of providers.

It was unambiguous in saying that the training was “not fit for purpose”.

It is therefore hard to understand why the DfE allowed the provider to take on new apprentices again on the back of a mere recovery plan.

There’s no way that Ofsted or the ESFA could have been truly confident things had turned around within such a short space of time after the inspection.

At the very least Key6 should have had Ofsted back in to check what’s now happening with the hundreds of apprentices it is already training, before this provider with no track record was allowed to recruit more.

The DfE completely undermined the role of the inspectorate in this process, and rendered its monitoring report obsolete.

It is letting learners, employers and the many high-quality providers down by failing to maintain what ought to be extremely high standards.