New in Driving News

Hello everyone and Welcome to the Elite Driving School Blog’s New in Driving News!

There has been a lot of Driving News lately, mainly, revolving around the weather!

However, last week, it was announced that Learner Drivers would be allowed on the motorways, with a qualified Driving Instructor, as of the 4th June 2018!

I have both good and points for the debate of Learner Drivers being allowed on motorways…

Let’s get all the negativity out of the way, and start with the cons:

-Motorways are dangerous if going both too fast, or too slow. Going too slow on a Motorway can cause serious problems, and can be very dangerous, which is why generally, it is better to do when more competent.

-Realistically, in an average hour/hour and a half lesson, the Learner isn’t going to get very far, before having to turn around and come back home. It is going to be extremely difficult for those who don’t live anywhere near a motorway, to have a motorway lesson as a learner…right?

-Thy’re unreliable. This shouldn’t be too difficult to explain, but sometimes, for unforeseen circumstances, you can get stuck on the motorway for hours. I’m sure we have all been there. Just last week, people were stuck on the M62 for 15 hours, after a mass crash. – Could you imagine being stuck in a car for 15 hours with your instructor?

-The other road users. You can sometimes get people, who get a little ‘speed happy’ and tend to just zoom off, well over the speed limit. This of course is annoying to general road users, never mind learners, who haven’t even passed a test to determine if they are ready to drive safely or not. I can imagine it being quite scary.

-They’re unqualified. Sure, they’re with a qualified instructor, who can drive at an advanced level, and in a car with dual controls, but that doesn’t prevent the fact that they’re unqualified. And yes, I understand the point of this is to become qualified, but people generally learn or go on a motorway, after they have experienced driving on their own on A and B roads.

Okay. Now, for the Pro’s:

-It allows the learner to advance on the skills that they already have, to be able to assess the situation appropriately.

-It allows learners to be experienced on all roads, before becoming qualified.

-With the new ‘Smart Motorways’ it enables learners to be more aware of how they work, as they won’t be involved in the Theory test.

-It gives them an advanced knowledge, meaning that there could potentially be fewer ‘new driver’ accidents.

 

What do you think?

We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, as I think it is such a controversial one.

– The Elite Team

 

Are you eligible?

Are you eligible to become a driving instructor?

Don’t know if you’re eligible to become a driving instructor?

This is what the Driving Standards Agency look for:

  • You have to be aged 21 or over. This is not just a guideline, its a rule in the UK that to become an ADI, you have to be over the age of 21.
  • You also have to have held a FULL UK Driving License for over 3 years. This is from the date that you passed your practical Driving Test, not the date you got your provisional license.
  • You also, must have a manual license to teach at Elite.
  • You need all of the above to be able to apply to become a driving instructor in the UK.

To become a Driving Instructor with Elite Driving School, enquire here: http://www.elite-driving-school.co.uk/Driving_instructor_training-page-29.html

Driving Test Changes You Need to Know About

If you didn’t know already, the UK driving test is changing from the 4th December 2017 (not a very nice Christmas present, is it?). We are updating you with the most recent changes made by the DVSA.

It was released on the 13th September 2017, that there would be revised changes to the ‘Show me’ ‘Tell me’ portion of the test.

If you don’t know what this is, it is where the examiner will ask you a ‘show me’ question and a ‘tell me’ question at the beginning of your driving test. These questions are given to you by your instructor to prepare you for your test.

The ‘Tell me’ Questions are as follows:

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.

 

And the ‘Show me’ questions:

  1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
  2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
  3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
  4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
  5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
  6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
  7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

 

Now with the changes to the Driving Test, it means that the ‘tell me’ questions will be asked at the beginning of the test, and the ‘show me’ questions will now be asked during the driving test, whilst under their examination.

However, do not fret, the changes are not made until the 4th December, so you have plenty of time to figure how to undertake these ‘show me’s’ in your instructors car.

We hope this helps and we will keep you updated with any more changes to the UK Driving Test on the Elite Blog, so make sure to follow Elite on Social Media, so you can be updated with any Driving Test changes coming your way by December!

The Elite Team

The DVSA Share their research why ADI’s fail their Standards check

The DVSA has published the Top 5 reasons why ADI’s have failed their standards check

Jacqui Turland has taken over from Mark Magee as the ADI registrar. Jacqui shares some useful information with ADI’s about preparation for the standards check.

She said she wanted to give instructors a valuable insight into why they might fail their standards check, and what they can do to better prepare for it.

Let’s be clear I’m totally in agreement with improving the standard of lessons, but that starts from the ground upwards, and begins before the first lesson has even started.

ADI’s provide a service to people who want to learn to drive. That service includes being honest, punctual, organised, managed, likeable and friendly. Then we can talk about the help they give students in preparation for the test and beyond.

Working to the national standard.

The DVSA are looking for evidence that instructors can meet the National Standards for Driver and Rider training.

Instructors are marked on 17 areas of competence that are grouped into 3 categories:

  • Lesson planning
  • Risk management
  • Teaching and learning skills.

So what are the top 5 reasons that ADI’s fail their standards check as analysed by the DVSA?

Please note: these results are from data gained back in 2014 and may not reflect why ADI’s fail today in 2017. The source of this information is from the post by the DVSA on 21st August 2017 please see the link at the bottom of the page…

In no particular order the top 5 reasons for failing the standards check are:

DRUM ROLE………..

  1. Instructors haven’t adapted the  lesson plan, when appropriate, to help the pupil work towards their learning goals
  2. Instructors haven’t taught the lesson in a style suited to the pupil’s learning style and current ability
  3. Instructors haven’t encouraged the pupil to analyse problems and take responsibility for their learning
  4. Instructors haven’t given the pupil appropriate and timely feedback during the session
  5. Instructors haven’t given enough feedback to help the pupil understand any potentially safety-critical incidents

Lesson planning

You need to show you can adapt your lesson plan, where appropriate, to help your pupil work towards their learning goals.

You shouldn’t stick to a planned lesson because the needs of your pupil might change throughout the lesson and it’s important you can adapt to that.

Teaching and learning strategies

You need to be able to show you can teach your pupil in a style that’s suited for them. This means using methods that work best for them. For example, when giving verbal directions, your pupil might find it easier if you referred to left and right as ‘my side’ or ‘your side’.

It’s important you give your pupil appropriate and timely feedback rather than giving it all at the end of the lesson. Having regular discussions throughout the lesson helps your pupil understand what they might have done wrong.

You should encourage your pupil to analyse problems and take responsibility for their own learning. For example, if your pupil forgot to check their blind spot before pulling out, you might:

  • ask them if they know what they did wrong
  • explain why they need to make sure they check their blind spots next time

Risk management

Another area instructors commonly fail on is not giving pupils enough feedback on any potentially dangerous situations.

As well as providing your pupil with timely and appropriate feedback, it’s important that if they make any serious or dangerous faults they know what they’ve done and why it’s dangerous.

It’s up to you to make sure they understand this, so they don’t make the same mistake again.

At the end of the test

At the end of the standards check your examiner will give you feedback about any areas where you need to develop. You can refer to the national standard for driver and rider training to help you understand what you could be doing differently.

 

In my opinion and the opinion of many professional ADI’s, there are many reasons that contribute to getting a good or average grade on a standards check that are not taken into consideration in the DVSA’s report.

And to add insult to injury when the DVSA say they will publish the grading system on their “find your nearest driving instructor” portal, so people can find the top instructors in their area is an insult to many instructors who’s grade doesn’t reflect the service they provide their students, their pass rate, or their ability to get students to a high standard of driving ability.

 

To read the full DVSA report please click here

The DVSA is Set to Expose Britain’s Worse Instructors

The DVSA is Set to Expose Britain’s Worse Instructors

Recent figures show that driving test pass rates in the UK are falling with some learners taking many attempts before eventually passing their driving test. The DVSA is planning to do something about it, citing part of the problem down to poor quality instruction from driving instructors.

Driving Instructors have to take regular check tests with the DVSA to ensure their continued ability to instruct meets with the DVSA requirements.  Recently the traditional check test has been replaced with the new Standards Check, and since this introduction only 30% of instructors have received top marks, with the vast majority managing a merely satisfactory rating. Last year nearly 700 driving instructors were struck off the DVSA register for failing to make the minimum standard mark.

So what does the DVSA plan to do about this?

Recently they decided to allow instructors to show their grade and score online at the Find An Instructor Section on their website, this is designed to help students find the best instructor in their area, and the DVSA believe that this will help drive up tuition standards amongst Britain’s 40,000 driving instructors. The DVSA’s Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn told The Times “We are encouraging driving instructors to publish their rating, if they don’t then at some point we will compel them to do so, we will put out information into the public domain so that parents can choose a good driving instructor.” This hasn’t proved to be popular amongst ADI’s with many interesting comments.

Win Owen commented “why would a person as well educated and as well informed as Gareth Llewellyn think that parents will be able to choose a good instructor by just looking at our grades”

Another Instructor Tim said “I was graded B but have a pass rate that is consistently 80% or thereabouts, my grading is based on just a one hour observation and doesn’t take into account how I assess learners and how I develop a working relationship with them”

Another comment from Peter “I’ve been teaching for 29 years and in that time I’ve been graded 5 three times and grade 6 twice, on my standards check I received a paltry 42 which is a grade B, all due to the supervising examiner thinking my lesson plan was too easy for the pupil.”

Some other comments from instructors spoke of those who take pupils who are more difficult to teach, that other instructors simply pass on because they cannot be bothered to train them, these pupils often take more than just one attempt to pass the driving test.

It’s an interesting topic and one that needs more thought from the DVSA rather than citing grade as being the problem. It’s a bad strategy to advertise grade A instructors as being better than all other instructors, the DVSA need to take into account newly qualified instructors who have very little experience and therefore might be seen as a bad option for most parents buying driving lessons for their children. This could have a negative effect on people wanting to become driving instructors in the first place.

Source : Theory Test Pro

We welcome any comments.

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