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Driving test centres standards questioned as Crawley’s instructor centre comes in top quarter of easiest centres to pass at

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New research released has shown an enormous difference between the pass rates for people applying to be an instructor over the past 10 years at different centres around the country.

The huge differences between pass rates for would-be driving instructors training at different test centres hints at a gulf between examination standards, new analysis shows.

Car specialist AMT has used official statistics from the Department for Transport, which lists instructor applicants’ pass rates for every UK test centre over the past ten years. 

The Approved Driving Instructor Part 3 Test assesses the instructional abilities of a person who wants to become an instructor, and is crucially the final examination before they’re able to work as one. It can only be taken once all other tests have been passed. 

AMT took the Part 3 Test pass rates for every year of the past decade for each of the country’s 219 DVSA test centres. It then calculated an average for the 10-year period, which revealed how consistent the divisions in standards are.

On average over the past decade, just 6% of applicants who took the instructional test at the Ashford test centre in London passed, making it the toughest test centre for instructors in the UK. 

The easiest centre from which to become an instructor is Tunbridge Wells, with a 71% pass rate.

The national average pass rate across all centres was 37% while Crawley came in at almost 43% which out of 219 centres ranked it in the top quarter of all centres to pass at.

10 hardest centres to pass instructor test (pass rate 10-year average):
1. Ashford (London): 6%
2. Sidcup (London): 16%
3. Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham): 17%
4. Kingstanding (Birmingham): 18%
5. Paisley: 18%
6. Hendon (London): 19%
7. Dunfermline: 20%
8. Dundee: 20%
9. Aberdeen South: 20%
10. King’s Heath (Birmingham): 21%

10 easiest centres to pass instructor test (pass rate 10-year average):
1. Tunbridge Wells: 71%
2. York: 69%
3. Bangor: 67%
4. Gosforth: 67%
5. Livingston: 67%
6. Pembroke Dock: 67%
7. Brislington (Bristol): 63%
8. St Albans: 63%
9. Chelmsford: 61%
10. Letchworth: 60%

Reacting to the findings, AMT’s general manager Ian Wright said:

“The fact that instructor pass rates at individual test centres vary by such huge margins will be shocking to many, as it suggests that the standards against which applicants are judged also differ.

“Normally, you would expect test centres’ results to vary around a common figure and for them to even out over time. The fact that these statistics are an average over the past ten years, yet are still so extreme, shows that the differences between centres are more permanent. 

“There also appears to be no geographic trend. So are driving instructors in one location more capable than those in another? It’s something that, if I were learning to drive again, knowing this, I’d want to look into it.”

AMT also recently analysed which towns and cities see learner drivers pass and fail their driving tests most.

To read these results visit https://www.amtauto.co.uk/blog/worst-places-to-pass


Health & Wellbeing

Stay healthy and well with Wellbeing Month at Crawley Library

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Next week marks the start of Wellbeing Month across all 36 West Sussex libraries.

Throughout March, libraries will be celebrating all the ways that books, reading and local libraries can help people stay healthy and well.

Special events taking place include:

  • Wellbeing MOT’s – offering advice, help and support on healthy diet, weight loss, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol, and more.
  • West Sussex MIND – will be advising residents about their new campaign ‘Moving Minds’ and providing information about the mental health services they offer.
  • Apetito drop-in and free taster – come and sample some of the delicious foods on offer from West Sussex County Council’s Meals on Wheels provider Apetito, who provide hot meals to elderly and vulnerable people across the county (Southwick library only).

There will also be NHS health checks, reminiscence taster sessions, story walks for children, games for families. Plus regular events including Knit and Natter, Relax with Colouring and ‘Melody for the Mind’, a singing group for people with dementia and their carers.

‘Melody for the Mind’ sessions are currently run at Broadfield, East Grinstead and Southwick Libraries, with a brand-new session starting at Chichester on Thursday 5 March.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said:

“Libraries always have communities at the heart of everything they do, and this month is no exception.

“Wellbeing, both physical and emotional, is so important and the programme that has been created by the libraries team for Wellbeing Month has a variety of great activities, events and reading that will hopefully make our residents feel happier and healthier in mind and body.”

All libraries will have displays of books chosen by library staff to lift the readers mood and help them feel better. The genres range from uplifting poetry to non-fiction titles with practical advice for difficult times.

To find out more on everything happening during Wellbeing Month at your local library and throughout the rest of the year, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries

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