Instructor Support Update – 12th February

DVSA Updates
The DVSA this week has confirmed that they are continuing to cancel practical and theory tests up to and including 24 February 2021. In addition, they have confirmed that all driving lessons and all tests remain suspended while the lockdown restrictions are in place, with the exception of booked mobile emergency worker service lessons and tests as arranged.

The DVSA has stated measures to help increase the number of available tests post resumption including:
– recruiting more examiners
– planning to reduce test waiting times
– offering more tests outside of normal working hours, including weekend and bank holidays.
– ensuring all DVSA staff who are qualified to perform driving tests are doing so, such as senior managers and policy staff.

Please find the links below for information on
theory tests
driving tests
instructor guidance

Changes to driving licences
The Department for Transport has launched a consultation this week to get your views about changes to the laws on driving licence acquisition and the motorcycle riding test.

The consultation is asking for views on such as allowing candidates who pass their test in an automatic transmission vehicle to drive a manual vehicle (if they already hold a manual entitlement in another licence category).

The consultation will be open for six weeks and will end on 23 March 2021.

Find out more about the consultation and give your views via this link – https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/simplifying-driving-licence-upgrade-and-motorcycle-test-rules

Scottish Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund
Earlier this week we contacted our Scottish-based instructors with information on a regional COVID hardship fund, that is specifically addressing Driving Instructors. For more information on this please visit – https://www.billplant.co.uk/instructor-support-update-10th-february/

Additional Restrictions Grant
As a reminder from our 22nd January Instructor Support Update, after the latest national lockdown (January) the UK Government has provided local councils with discretionary funding that can be accessed following an application process.

We are aware some councils are welcoming applications by driving instructors and those newly self-employed (who do not qualify for the SEISS), so we urge you to contact your local council and discuss this with them directly.

We’ve discussed this with various authorities and to stand the best chance to receive a support grant we recommend you provide a thorough application including your:
– Unique Tax Reference Code
– Relevant evidence of previous driving lessons income (ideally business bank statements)
– Your PDI / ADI badge
– Confirmation of your start date with Bill Plant Driving School
– Email from the DVSA in January 2021 prohibiting driving lessons during the national lockdowns – attached is a screengrab

When you apply, please can you inform us via instructorsupport@billplant.co.uk so we can approach the various councils ourselves to further your claim.

Instructor Support
Should you need further guidance in addition to our communications to date, please contact the Instructor Support Team on 01765 643374 or via instructorsupport@billplant.co.uk. 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a challenging time for everyone, we will continue to do all we can to support our instructors, staff and trainees.

From everyone at Bill Plant Driving School, stay safe.

Kind regards

Tom Hixon
Head of Instructor Support