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Have you ever had two different instructors who conflict in their teaching? As a student, experiencing this can be extremely confusing and rather damaging to the learning process. It is for this very reason that the DVLA is keen to work alongside parents, in the hope to stop undoing the work of professional instructors and instead start understanding how the testing process has and will continue to change.
Though well aware that parents who take their children out for private practice have their best interests at heart, the DVSA is becoming increasingly concerned that students could be hampered if they secondary teacher has out-dated knowledge. For example, recent years have seen the trialling of sat navs and the introduction of new manoeuvres, designed to better reflect real-life driving, both things of which older, more experienced drivers may not have much idea about.
Head of policy and registrar at the DVSA, Mark Magee said: “We need to get across the message that learning to drive is changing. It’s not about vehicle control, it’s wider aspects. Parents also need to understand what we’re trying to encourage approved driving instructors to do, so that they work with them and no against them and actually undo some of the work that’s being done.”
His big plan to help combat the problem is to involve parents as much as possible, even to the extent of sitting in on lessons so that parents can see the quality of tuition their loved ones are receiving. Magee has even launched a handful of schemes around the UK to promote the concept, but sadly some parents are said to be reluctant to get on-board.
One instructor told us, “I encourage parents to come and sit in on a lesson and they never want to.”
But Magee isn’t the only one pushing for a change. Standards compliance manager for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Richard Gladman said, “We agree with the idea of encouraging parents to be aware of the sort of training their offspring are getting from an ADI. If it’s their intention to supplement the training with independent practice, it will be much more beneficial if this takes the same form as the professional input.
To us, it’s clear that, to get the most from a qualified driving instructor, parental involvement is key, even if it’s just with regards to identifying the right instructor. Learners will some in all shapes and sizes, as do instructors. To find the right fit for your child you may need to spend some extra time researching or pay slightly more, but in the long run we think it can be agreed that there’s both financial and safety benefits in doing so.
Are you for or against parental involvement when it comes to learning to drive? Would you sit in on your child’s driving lesson to brush up on your skills? Use the comments section below to let us know!