DfE officials should be applauded, under the circumstances, for trying to support colleges as best they can by letting them see the area review guidance in draft form.

I would like to encourage them to keep the sector as informed as they possibly can, as area reviews and apprenticeship reforms press on at breakneck speed.

But Sally Hunt is also right to complain that delays with ministers signing-off on crucial documents are creating a cloak and dagger culture, with civil servants forced to covertly reveal as much as they can in advance of information being officially published.

It isn’t an ideal scenario. I understand that Robert Halfon and other ministers involved with skills want to give everything that comes before them thorough consideration, following the example of our famously careful prime minister.

But area reviews are running way behind and their own deadlines for apprenticeship reforms are incredibly tight.

Ministers either need to hasten their signing-off process, or delay implementation.

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