§ Mr. Summerson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to maintain high standards of driving tuition; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
Good instruction is important for good driving skills and behaviour. The Department has agreed with the national instructors associations five measures to help maintain high standards in the compulsory registration system for driving instructors. They are:
- (a) introduction of "banding" into the written examination to ensure an adequate level of knowledge over the whole syllabus;
- (b) expansion of the syllabus of the written examination to include questions on the theory and practice of learning, teaching and assessment;
- (c) a limit of three attempts at each of the two practical qualifying tests within a period of two years from passing the written examination:
- (d) extension of the minimum period of cancellation of tests without forfeiture of fee from three day s to 10;
- (e) targeting checks of registered instructors more effectively on those who need it.
These measures will be introduced progressively over the next nine months.
We are also co-operating with the national instructors associations in their development of an industry-approved register of establishments that train instructors, including the appropriate standards for instructor training courses.
These measures are designed to maintain and improve driving standards and to reduce accidents.