We hope all of you instructors in England and Wales are starting to get settled back into what you do best, teaching other to drive, and for colleagues in Scotland, it won’t be long now, we thought you may appreciate a quick update since returning to work in England and Wales and to respond to some of the questions we have handled and to remind you of some of the grants still ongoing across the country.
One of the issues some have come across while their vehicle has been off the road for a long period of time over the winter months, is remembering to re insure or re tax the vehicle, Im sure you have all done that, for our colleagues in Scotland, that may be a job for you now since the First Minister announced today, “We are now extremely confident that those parts of the country currently in level four will move to level three on April 26, that’s now less than two weeks away.
“That means, amongst other things, that on that day shops will fully reopen, pubs, cafes and restaurants will also be able to fully open outdoors on April 26 and will be able to open indoors on that date, but on a restricted basis.” If the car has not moved in all that time, now is the time to check it over, we are having lots of enquires about warning lights coming on the dashboard, don’t get caught out.
In the DVSA Chief Executives second email to you, she stated: Before tests restart on 22 April, we will promote the latest top 10 reasons for failing a car driving test and give you and your pupils tips on how these can be avoided. This will help you to identify pupils who may need more support and practice. Due to the sad and sudden death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, this communication has been held back, however, after a respectful period the top ten reasons for failure will be circulated to instructors and candidates with tests booked.
As you will, all remember, we in NASP fought to have test centre waiting rooms reopened, gradually before this last lockdown, more and more were reopened, we are pleased to say, all of those and another 28 will reopen as test begin in each country, the most up to date list is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/driving-test-centre-waiting-rooms-during-coronavirus
We have had many questions on Standard Operating Procedures for when testing resumes, we can confirm there have been no changes to the SOPs and further guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-driving-tests-and-theory-tests the current NASP guidance is also still available at: http://deanm17.sg-host.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/NASP-Guidelines-on-driver-trainers-safely-returning-to-work-2nd-July-2020.pdf
The SEISS 4th Grant will be available soon, to book your appointment visit: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference you will need your HMRC personal reference number and your national insurance number, they will give you the earliest date you should make your claim.
There have been different grants around the various countries, in England the Additional Restriction Grant, may still be available, you can check here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant#history some authorities have not been including driving instructors, some have. If you have tried before and been unsuccessful, there is no harm in trying again, some authorities move the goalposts as they go along and you may have better luck if you try again.
In Scotland the Close Contact Grant has now closed, however we understand many of you are still waiting for a response, the team looking after the grant have stated, it is taking a lot longer to get through the applications than had been first thought and if you are in the system they will get back to you, if you want to make contact: 0300 3030660 ext 5.
In Wales the Restrictions Business Fund has now closed.
On a final note, we just wanted to remind you the Instructor fund set up to help ADIs and PDIs with some financial support when you need it most is still open. This special hardship fund was set up in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which has had a devastating impact on the driver training industry. It aims to provide small grants to individuals who are in most need. If you are an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) or Provisional Driving Instructor (PDI) facing financial hardship you can still apply at: https://instructorfund.org/
Peter Harvey, Carly Brookfield & Lynne Barrie