Government officials have said they “hope” to provide an update on the delayed results for the adult education budget tender by the end of this week.

Providers are waiting on tenterhooks to find out whether they have won funding to deliver the national adult education budget from next month.

However, a new message from the Education and Skills Funding Agency sent to providers this afternoon simply says: “We hope to be in a position by the end of this week to provide you with a further update.”

It comes after the results of tendering for the national AEB have been delayed twice.

Results were originally supposed to be communicated on June 24.

The ESFA then said they could not meet that deadline and bidders were told the outcomes would be ready for June 28.

However, when that day came, the announcement was put off to an undetermined time.

Now it seems the agency cannot even give a deadline for when the results will be issued.

The AELP’s chief policy officer Simon Ashworth, who tweeted the ESFA’s latest message, also wrote: “Setting a self-imposed deadline (x2) and missing it is not good, this message isn’t particularly helpful either.

“Providers are desperate to know the AEB outcome. How can they plan? How can they deliver provision from August? Do they need staff and premises or not?”

Bids for a slice of the £73 million AEB funding initially up for grabs in 2021/22 opened in February and closed in March.