Updated: Jun 4
We were absolutely gutted to have to make the decision to stop teaching our wonderful students and trainee instructors. Whilst we knew it was the right decision, not long after we stopped teaching the country went into lock down.
We were always hoping that it wouldn't be long before we were back in our cars and teaching. We realised the enormity of the situation and we've kept up to date with the current government guidelines and it has always remained unsafe for driving lessons (and driving instructor training) to continue, until the government deem it safe.
Whilst last night's announcement (Sunday 10th May) from Boris relaxed the lock down rules very slightly, he still insists that social distancing is followed. As you know, this is something that we just cannot do in a car - therefore lessons will remain suspended.
It's absolutely heartbreaking to make such a decision to stay off work because although we are enjoying some family time (Mrs DKM is making sure Mr DKM is keeping busy don't worry!), we are eager to get back to work - but not where we could potentially put us and our family, and you and your family at risk - there is nothing that justifies that risk.
We are continuously taking guidance from the government, the DVSA, and driving instructor associations. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will be teaching again. If Boris' plan goes to plan (and when do plans ever go to plan!), we are hoping to be back around June/July - but we will keep you up to date and we will contact you once we start filling our diaries again.
What can YOU do now?
The best thing you could be doing is studying for your theory test if you haven't yet passed it. Please send me your email address if you would like us to sign you up to our FREE online theory test training site - and if you have any friends or family who would like to sign up, we can do that too! Please get in touch if you are struggling with your theory as there may be other things we can do to support you.
If you have passed your theory test, I challenge you to take a free mock theory test online and send me your score! And if you're feeling brave, why not ask your partners/relatives to take a mock theory test too?!
You can take a free theory test here:
What will change when we start lessons again?
We accept that things may not be 'normal' for some time again - and the new normal might be a little daunting. As yet we don't know what the new normal will be, though we have a pretty good idea. Here are some changes you might see.
- Gloves being worn in car
- For various reasons, we wouldn't expect people to wear masks unless you want to. This is because most high street masks are proven to be ineffective after a certain amount of time, masks must not be reused, masks without filters are less effective, masks can make your nose/mouth sweat and become sore - which is the last thing we want whilst you are driving and this will also become incredibly sore if us instructors are wearing masks all day, and masks can be expensive. Some of our students are also hard of hearing and rely on lip reading whilst we are stationary at the side of the road - this also can't happen whilst wearing a mask
- You may find our working times will change slightly to begin with - we might start lessons again by offering reduced times or reduced number of days to lessen the amount of people that we come into contact with each day
- You may find we can't fit as many lessons in per day to begin with, as we will be allowing additional time between lessons for thorough cleaning of the car to keep both you and us as safe as possible
- We stopped accepting cash for 98% of our students before the lock down due to one of our instructors being given fake cash which was alarmingly realistic and was only picked up when the instructor tried to deposit it in the bank. We will continue to not accept cash unless you have good reason - bank transfer will be the preferred choice of payment either before, or on, the day of your lesson. This eliminates the need for handling cash which as we know, can be a source for the virus to spread
- We will not expect you to have downloaded and be using this new tracing app that the government have been talking about - this is completely your choice and not something that we will force the use of
- We will not expect you to have taken a coronavirus test - as we know these are mostly for key workers at present, and the government may not be able to meet the demand of testing absolutely everyone
- We will be asking that you alert us to any symptoms that you or your household may have
- We will expect you to be the lovely, enthusiastic and motivated students that you were before the lock down!
Please remember this isn't set in stone. We will of course provide further guidance on any changes if and when they happen.
The DVSA and the DVLA
The DVSA are the governing body for driving instructors and they deal with driving tests. The DVLA deals with issuing driving licences.
- The DVLA are currently not accepting new applications for driving licences, and we don't know when they will open up their systems again
- The DVSA have suspended theory tests until at least the end of May, and current driving tests are being rebooked for June/July. New driving tests cannot be booked at present, and again we don't know when they will open up the bookings system again
- If your theory test is running out (your theory test expires 2 years from when you passed it), you will have to resit a new theory test before you can take a practical test
Please let us know if you have any questions surrounding this.
We have, under government guidelines, been teaching key workers - we have strict guidelines on the key workers we will teach and the requirements for teaching them. Whilst teaching key workers is a risk that no-one wants to take, it has been humbling to be able to help those key workers get onto the roads and driving, which in turn means they can put in better shifts at work, are safer when travelling to work, and also means they can provide better services/keep services running for us - the UK - to help fight this virus. If you are a key worker and are wanting to continue lessons, please feel free to get in touch.
We would also love to hear how you're getting on and we encourage you to reach out to us if you are struggling - whether you're struggling with your housing, family life, finances, work etc - we have lots of resources available and will always be here to listen and help where we can. Please, please don't suffer in silence!
The most important thing right now is that you and your family are safe and well. By starting driving lessons again, it would defeat the efforts we've put into staying safe and helping the infection and death rates go down.
Darren & Laura x