Driving Instructors and Learner Drivers Feel Abandoned

Late on Friday evening the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency issued an update to driving instructor organisations in the UK.

This advised that theory tests for learner drivers were to be suspended again through the UK from Monday 1stJune and that anyone with a test booked would be notified by email. This is incredibly short notice for those concerned when they have been studying for the examination. The tests are due to resume in Scotland and Wales on 21st June but no date could be provided for England.

No mention was made of driving tests, but instructors were warned that they should still only be undertaking lessons for key workers with a driving test applied for. There was no confirmation of when routing driving tests would start again (they were suspended for 3 months on 20th March).

Lynne Barrie, Chair of the Association of Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADINJC) said,

“Driving instructors are dismayed at the latest statement from the DVSA that bluntly continues to delay theory tests indefinitely in England and all but key worker driving lessons indefinitely throughout the UK. This is at a time when many others involved with transport industries and education are getting back to work.

Safety is at the heart of all instructors and we would not want to conduct lessons in an environment that is unsafe for learners or ourselves. However, it would be preferable if the DVSA could work with us to provide an outline of the way ahead so that we can plan and prepare any necessary safety measures. It is not just the theory tests that affect learners, they also need enough practical lessons that will prepare them to be road ready for the driving test and to help them with their jobs and the post COVID 19 recover. There will undoubtably be a backlog for the test and nobody wants unnecessary fails.

We welcome the extension of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) by the Chancellor however many of our members are not covered by this or other schemes and are struggling financially.

We were told by DVSA that announcements would follow and obviously as soon as we have any news we will let you know immediately”.

Lynne Barrie ADINJC Chair









As if last night’s email wasn’t confusing enough…  The top part of this image is from the daily gov.uk update, so it clarifies that theory tests are suspended beyond 31 May.  However, if you go on gov.uk it’s still saying that you can book a theory test from 1 June onwards.

So in England, there is currently no date for when theory tests will re-start.  However, tests in Wales and Scotland will be rescheduled after 21 June.  Currently.


Test, Track and Trace

I contacted the ICO with regard to our obligations under GDPR and Test Track and Trace.  Effectively, an ADI who reports to TTT will be contacted and interrogated for information on who they have been in touch with.  Obviously for an ADI working it won’t just be friends and family, but our paying customers.

I was told that any information we give must be necessary and proportional.  So giving a student’s name and phone number is OK but having a discussion about their driving lessons is not, to put it simply.  He said that transparency of data sharing is important but shouldn’t get in the way of an emergency, which this is.  It’s ad hoc one off data sharing so doesn’t need a rewrite of anyone’s GDPR policy.  And it is in both parties’ interests to share the information for health reasons.  He suggests anyone contacted make a note of what, when and who’s information was shared so that they are accountable.

That’s it in a very simplistic nutshell.  If you want further reading try thisThis linkexplains the legitimate interest angle of the situation.



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ADINJC’s helpline is 0800 8202 444

The Secretary’s number is 07855 453414

HMRC Helpline:  0800 0159 559

Citizens Advice Bureau – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/

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