Since the DVSA launched, the “Ready to Pass?” campaign to enhance learner drivers’ comprehension of what it means to be test-ready and how they can evaluate their readiness. It is claimed that 96% of learners who have used the website have found it helpful.
However, since parents can influence the learner driver’s decision when learning to drive and feeling ready for their test, the campaign has published a new supervising learner driver guide aimed at parents who plan to take their son or daughter for private practice. (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supervise-a-learner-driver) This guide was developed based on research findings that showed parents can have a significant impact on the pupil’s readiness for the test leading to pressure on the pupil to take the test before they are ready.
The research showed that 42% of parents expect their son or daughter to have the same number of lessons as they did, even though 67% of them recognised that the driving test is now more challenging than when they took it.
76% of learners who pass their test have private practice in addition to professional lessons, with 64% of parents supporting learners with private practice.
To address the issue of parents underestimating the amount of practice and professional lessons their son or daughter needs, the campaign plans to create social media content aimed at parents, promote the newly published supervising learner driver guide on GOV.UK to parents, host an “ask the expert” webinar for parents, and work with FirstCar to develop and launch a new First Lesson guide for learners and their parents.
The campaign’s goal is to encourage parents to sit in on lessons and to promote private practice, as a combination of both professional lessons and also practicing at home, increases the learners’ chances of passing their driving test by 1.5 times.
As DVSA Approved Driving Instructors, we are being encouraged by the DVSA to actively promote the benefits of private practice. We can all do this by:
Inviting parents to sit in and observe a lesson before starting private practice (once their son or daughter is competent and comfortable enough.)
Encourage parents to read the new supervising learner driver guide https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supervise-a-learner-driver
Advise parents when their son or daughter is ready to drive under their supervision, and explain to pupils and their parents how to record their private practice using the record of the pupil’s progress sheet on GOV.UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/record-your-private-practice-when-youre-learning-to-drive
It’s crucial to ensure that all new drivers have the knowledge, experience, and skills to drive safely on their own after passing their driving test. As a result, it’s recommended that learner drivers have private practice with the support of a driving instructor which could give the following benefits:
Gain experience and manage their nerves carrying multiple passengers
Ensure parents and driving instructors are on the same page about the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses
Learners improve their driving skills
Parents learn tips from a professional
Parents understand what independent driving is and the benefits of practising this skill during driving lessons
For more information on how I can help your son or daughter learn to drive along with supporting your private practice email me at JulieHazellDriverEducation@gmail.com
“Disclosure: Some of the content in this blog post was shared by Amanda Lane, Head of Driver Testing and Training Policy, as part of the ‘Ready to Pass?’ campaign. We thank her for her insights on creating content for parents to support learner drivers.”