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An apprenticeship provider has had its funding contract terminated by the government after another failed legal challenge against a grade four Ofsted report.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency’s decision to kick The Opportunity Group out of the apprenticeships market comes seven months after inspectors visited the Newcastle-based provider.

After receiving the lowest possible rating, The Opportunity Group instructed Lester Aldridge Solicitors – a law firm retained by numerous providers in a similar position in recent years – to appeal against the “unfairness” of the report.

The ESFA held off on ending the provider’s contract while representations were made and until after Ofsted had conducted a follow-up monitoring visit, the report for which was published this month. It resulted in three ‘reasonable’ judgements but one of ‘insufficient’ progress.

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