Bill Plant Driving School Instructor Support Update – 1st July 2021

Team Updates – Training Support & Training Departments

Last month, we updated you on developments within the Bookings Team and Customer Service Team, where our focus on optimising and maximising your pupil bookings, alongside reducing complaints and refunds, has seen great success. We thank each and every one of you for your contributions to maintaining the excellent reputation of Bill Plant Driving School nationwide.

This month, we would like to provide you with a Driving Instructor Training update, where a significant amount of work has taken place behind the scenes post driving lessons resuming on the 12th April. While our number one priority has been ensuring your immediate successful returns after lockdown, the Bill Plant Driving School Training Support Team has had a significant restructure.

We would like to welcome Gareth Evans, our new Head of Training Support, who comes with a wealth of Operational and Training experience, to the team. Gareth, alongside his newly focused team of dedicated Success Managers at each stage of the Driving Instructor Training journey, has been tasked with helping to aid the throughput of the Driving Instructor Academy. As we have seen significant increases in pupil demand, so to have we seen a sharp rise in those wishing to train to become a Driving Instructor – with many new faces starting over the last few months.

The Training Support Team, alongside Peter Brabin our Head of Training and other members of our Training Team and Senior Management Team, will be working with huge attention to improve and expand our Driving Instructor Training proposition to our existing ADI’s. To that effect, with a lot of the work currently underway, you can expect an optional, comprehensive Driving Instructor Training franchise proposition to be communicated to you, for both current and potential new trainers to the Bill Plant Driving School team, by the 1st of September at the latest.

The quality of our Driving Instructor Training is paramount and we have every intention to not only maintain, but improve our quality assurance. We are pleased to announce that a staggering 89% of Bill Plant Driving School’s PDI’s who have taken up to 3 attempts in 2021 (or their first attempt last year and second/final attempts in 2021) have passed their Part 3 Exams – a fantastic achievement. Congratulations to Emma Williams, Gregson Weekes, Mervin Evans, Aysha Munawar, Michelle Coupland and Nathaniel Merriott for your successes in June!

Please note, that we are absolutely committed to ensuring, as we always have, to building sustainably, to the benefit of both our future instructors and most importantly, to those who have shown great loyalty and dedication to being a part of the Bill Plant Driving School team.

Instructor of the Month

After an extensive review of the candidates for last month’s Instructor of the Month award, of which there were many that were of an extremely high standard, the team at Bill Plant Driving School are delighted to announce that Aysha Munawar, based in Reading, has topped the list for June!

Having started her career as a Driving Instructor with Bill Plant Driving School in December 2019, only a few months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK, it is safe to say the journey to today has been a challenging one. Based in East London at the start of her PDI, Aysha has, due to events over the last 18 months, had to move to and from East London to Reading on multiple occasions.

On every single instance, despite having to move between locations, the wellbeing of her pupils were always her priority and none were left out of pocket. Every student was managed appropriately towards their driving tests before moving and the team did not receive a single complaint despite this undertaking. Recently, when one of our local driving instructors fell very ill, with huge waiting times expected for pupils potentially needing to rebook their tests, Aysha stepped in, despite having an upcoming Part 3 Exam, to provide vital assistance to ensure their success, so no pupil went without an instructor. Aysha passed her Part 3 on 2nd June 2021, with a score of 37. 

A huge thank you Aysha, from all of the head office team at Bill Plant Driving School. We hope you enjoy a well deserved franchise free week as a gesture of our appreciation, for your dedication to supporting your fellow instructors, as well as a fantastic Part 3 pass, achieved in the most challenging of circumstances!

ADINJC & Intelligent Instructor Expo

We are pleased to announce that the team at Bill Plant Driving School are scheduled to appear at the ADINJC & Intelligent Instructor Expo at the Heart of England Conference Centre in Coventry, on Sunday 10th October. Due to the pandemic, the last Driving Instructor Show was back in 2019, when we won the National Driving School of the Year Award. The event was a fantastic opportunity for many of our instructors to meet with members of the head office team and connect with one another (as well as compete on our huge Bill Plant Driving School Scalextric track!).

Subject to UK Government guidelines, the event will be proceeding and we hope to see as many of you there as possible. The last event was a unique Driving Instructor Show for the industry and, having had discussions with the organisers, are excited for what this year’s event brings to the table (including both a bigger and better Scalextric track!)

Department for Transport: Wave 4 Report Analysis

The team at head office recently analysed the Wave 4 Report recently released by the Department for Transport, looking at travel around the UK.

In the four weeks leading up to the pandemic, before the UK was put into lockdown, 63% of those surveyed across the UK stated that they had travelled by bus at least once. This dramatically declined to 18% in the weeks that followed the beginning of lockdown, particularly amongst those aged 55+ (from 58% to just 12%) with a significant but smaller decline in the younger age groups, many of whom still needed to use public transport in order to get to and from their keyworker jobs.

While there was an increase to 31% by June/July 2020, as the first wave of Covid-19 came to an end, this had declined once more to very low levels of just 19% by the start of 2021 – with trust in public transport not even close to pre-covid levels, remaining dramatically lower a full year on from April/May 2020 when the pandemic first took hold of the UK.

Interestingly, while 89% of those who used public transport before the pandemic stated that they don’t own a bike or a car, this group are still very reluctant to get on a bus, with less than half, 44%, doing so now. What’s more, it was found that of those who used to travel on the bus or train, 81% of travellers have not been on a bus in the past four weeks, with even more having not been on a train in the last four weeks (90%).

When asked about their comfort levels using various modes of public transport in the coming few weeks, 56% said they are still uncomfortable about using a train, 57% about using any type of taxi, 59% about using a bus, 64% about using the underground and 65% about getting on a plane. While the number of those who feel comfortable using public transport over the coming few weeks has increased across the board (except for on ferries), this has been only marginal.

Travelling by car has remained, unsurprisingly, the most popular way to get around, with drivers able to enjoy the luxury of social distancing throughout the pandemic. In the months pre-pandemic, 72% of respondents had driven their cars in the previous 4 week period, and this never dropped lower than 63% throughout the pandemic despite lockdown restrictions.

The DVSA has confirmed a large increase in the number of prospective learner drivers buying DVSA learning materials and the vast majority of our drivers are seeing huge demand for driving lessons. Due to both our marketing efforts and the wider industry backlogs, 80% are still fully booked. As the public shifts away from public transport due to low confidence, we are hopeful this should bring even more demand for your services in both the short and long term!

Instructor Support

Should you need any guidance please do not hesitate to contact your Relationship Manager in the Instructor Support Team on 01765 643374.

From everyone at Bill Plant Driving School, thank you for your on-going support and stay safe.

Kind regards

Tom Hixon
Head of Instructor Support