School Kids Given Driving Lessons

A Portsmouth driving school has launched a new initiative with local secondary schools.

Following a brief pilot scheme in 2011, The Driving Project has this week been officially launched at Springfield School in Drayton.

The Driving Project is run by a team of highly qualified driving instructors who fast track driving tuition for 15 and 16 year olds. It allows secondary schools to give their students the opportunity to drive a car legally on school grounds, building their confidence and safety behind the wheel.  

With excellent feedback from both the staff and students, Springfield School has now incorporated the scheme into their annual Life Skills programme (PSHE in other secondary schools).

Other secondary schools in the South will be rolling out the scheme during the 2012 academic year including Mayfield School, who will be taking the project one step further by incorporating theory test lessons into the tuition time.

Driving Project Founder Matthew Best says: "The difference with this initiative is that it is being implemented within the national curriculum.

"We are aiming for the scheme to eventually roll out  nationwide so that all secondary schools incorporate The Driving Project into their Life Skills lessons.  The cost to the school is minimal (just to cover driving costs). 

"The idea is to allow ALL children the opportunity to learn, not just those from wealthier backgrounds; there is no cost to the student or their family.  This initiative is all about raising driver safety early on, before any bad habits creep in. Obviously there will be a limited amount of learning time, but this isn't meant to replace professional driving tuition.  

"The idea is to introduce driving skills at a young age, especially road safety, so that students will turn 17 realising that driving a car is about more than just turning on an engine and  hitting a high speed!"

Earlier this year, there were calls for the government to encourage young people to learn driving skills before they are old enough to hold a licence. The Institute of Advanced Motoring believes a lack of driving experience, rather than age, is  the reason one in 5 young drivers crash within a year of passing their test.