Following a monitoring visit in October, a letter to the academy leaders from Ofsted said that “senior leaders and managers do not ensure that the apprenticeships that they offer meet the needs of apprentices or their employers.”
The letter said that apprentice development managers focus too much on helping apprentices pass their financial services examinations and not enough on the development of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that apprentices need in their current or future job roles.
The inspector said that apprentices and their employers appear unsure about the requirements of an apprenticeship and many consider the programme to be purely examination based.
The letter follows an inspection last year where the inspector raised the same concerns. The inspector said leaders have been “too slow to address weaknesses identified at the previous monitoring visit.”
It said that whilst staff are experienced in the financial services sector, most staff are “not appropriately skilled” in the delivery of apprenticeships.
The academy was due a full inspection, however these have been suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
At the time of Ofsted's visit in October the New Model Business Academy had 96 apprentices on level 4 standards-based apprenticeships, of whom 78 were training to be financial advisers and 18 as paraplanners.
The academy began offering apprenticeships in 2018.