Published date: 3 February 2023

Last edited date: 6 February 2023

This notice was replaced on 30 August 2023

This notice does not contain the most up-to-date information about this procurement. The most recent notice is:

Awarded contract (published 30 August 2023)

Closed opportunity - This means that the contract is currently closed. The buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made.

Contract summary


  • Adult and other education services - 80400000

Location of contract

North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, South East, South West

Value of contract


Procurement reference


Published date

3 February 2023

Closing date

6 March 2023

Closing time


Contract start date

1 August 2023

Contract end date

31 July 2027

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Open procedure (above threshold)

Any interested supplier may submit a tender in response to an opportunity notice.

This procedure can be used for procurements above the relevant contract value threshold.

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



Existing ESFA-Funded AEB contracts for services will come to an end on 31 July 2023 and therefore the Department for Education (the "Authority") is required to undertake a further procurement exercise to secure this provision.
The Authority, on behalf of the ESFA, is conducting a competitive procurement exercise (carried out in accordance with the Light Touch Regime, applying the principles of the Open Procedure as set out in the Public Contract Regulations 2015) for new ESFA-funded AEB contracts for services. It is envisaged that these contracts will start on 1 August 2023 for an initial period of twelve months covering the 2023/24 academic year, with options to extend further by up to three 12-month periods (extension will depend on factors including individual supplier performance and government spending priorities).

Providers will need to meet the criteria and quality standards that will be set out in the procurement documents.
The contracts awarded through this procurement exercise will be for qualifications-based provision and/or their components described in the AEB funding rules and/or the Free Courses For Jobs ("FCFJ") offer.
Multiple providers are sought to deliver the service across the non-devolved regions of England only. This means individual suppliers will be limited to a maximum contract value, referred to as a 'tender cap' according to factors including their experience of providing similar services and the size of the bidding organisation. Note however that the Authority does not guarantee that providers who are successfully appointed will necessarily receive funding in an amount equivalent to their applicable tender cap.
Separately to this, an overall maximum contract value of £2.5 million per year will apply (albeit subject to availability of funding/provider performance, the Authority may award funding beyond the afore-mentioned 'caps' to providers if/when further funding becomes available and therefore annual contract values may increase in due course).
Following award, contract values may be increased or decreased according to factors including performance by the contractor and government funding priorities as further explained in the procurement documents.
Given the duration of the contract, the Authority may (at its absolute discretion) agree to variations in respect of the subject-matter of the courses delivered to the extent that such courses continue to fall within the auspices of adult education and the relevant funding rules as described above.
The procurement will be open to providers who are seeking to deliver adult education and training provision funded by the ESFA AEB and FCFJ (and/or any other relevant public sector funding which may become available to deliver adult education programmes from time to time). Providers must deliver such provision in accordance with the then current funding rules applicable to such funding (such that the provision is wholly fundable within the scope of those funding rules).

More information


Additional text

Applications for this opportunity are through the Departments e-tendering portal Jaggear (see link above). The ITT reference is itt_2002

About the buyer


Sanctuary Buildings, 20, Great Smith Street