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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


Business

Crawley jobs at risk as DW Sports goes into administration

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Jobs at DW Sports in Crawley town centre are at risk along with 1,700 hundred jobs across the country as the company announced it is to wind down the business.

The sports website has also been closed with immediate effect.

According to reports closing down sales are due to begin at the remaining stores as the business comes to an end.

Fitness First, a sister company of DW is to continue to operate as a separate company and its 43 clubs are not to be affected by the news.

Chief executive Martin Long said:

“As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports.

“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.

“It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long-term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain.

“Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”

Crawley Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“This is terrible news for the staff of DW Sports; I sympathise with them and hope that they are able to secure other employment quickly. Our Employ Crawley service is currently providing free one-to-one employability and training support to jobseekers by phone, email and text.”

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