Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening (delete as appropriate).
Hope this finds you and your families well?
I thought you might all be a bit bored of watching me doing an update so I'm typing one today - and I hope this will be the last one I send out…….I hope.
I’m sending this out the day before Nicola Sturgeon announces what Phase 4 of the easing of lockdown looks like. It's due to start August 4th, but that doesn't necessarily mean we start on the 4th, it could be or it may still be later on - it's already been stated that phase 4 will be a longer unwind process, so we have to wait and see. I will be on my Instagram and Facebook pages tomorrow posting updates so if you want to follow along at the bottom of the page you will find my social media links, just click and join (if you want).
So in the last few days I’ve been helping out a young lady get ready for her emergency driving test. So yes I have been out teaching a little and managed to get the car out for a few hours and get back into the swing of training - you’ll be pleased to hear I’ve not forgotten how to do it :)
Obviously these lessons have been done under the new Covid-Secure standards I’ve set and I've used them as a trail run. So far it’s gone very smoothly indeed. Wearing a mask for two hours can be a bit of a pain so we have been taking a break halfway through to remove the mask and get a couple of minutes of fresh air outside the car. This is something I intend to keep doing. You can also get quite thirsty behind the mask so bring a bottle of water with you or I’ve put some in the boot just in case.
Before I started teaching Alexandria I asked her to complete a Risk Assessment. We cannot get away from the fact that to continue to do lessons we need to break the physical distancing rules we have all gotten so used too and no matter how well a country is or isn't doing against this virus, it hasn't gone away and assessing your own risk towards it is vital at this time.
I know a few of you have already done this already but since I sent it out, I had a re-think about the process and decided to put it on my website, to make it's to a lot simpler for you to complete. Some of you may be worried about data protection so I have hidden in behind a member's wall which needs access to get too.
So let’s look at the process:-
First of all, you need to visit my website here (if you click here it will take you there) - on a computer or phone it doesn’t matter, the process is the same.
Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page and see the little red icon with Login - click it.
You'll be asked to sign in but first you need an account. Use you Facebook or Google sign in to make it easier and no need to remember another password.
After you do that I will get an automatic email from you to grant access (not just anybody can get online, I have to grant it). Usually it will take me just a few minutes to click ok, but if you do it at 2am....well I'll get to it when I can.
Once you get the access granted you can then go back to the little LogIn icon, and then you should see a different menu, like below.
You know have access to the hidden website and select Covid-19 Risk Assessment, it will take you here (it will look a little different on mobile):-
Hopefully it is self-explanatory and all you need to do is read through and complete it asap.
There are some other pages there too including a new video’s section and resources (which I’m still working on), feel free to look around. You'll also see my personal risk assessment that I will be updating every 7 days to declare that I have assessed my own risks with regards getting in to the car.
You will need to complete one of these to get back in the car, so if I don’t hear from you I will know that you don’t want to restart lessons (or at least not yet).
If you don't want to do this online, just send me a text and I'll send you one by email instead. A couple of you have already done it via email, you don't have to redo it unless you want.
So, the theory test centres are back open and hopefully some of you have gotten dates. I have heard that waiting times are going up and up, so if you haven’t already - get it booked.
We wait to hear tomorrow, but England and Wales had their lessons restarted and then tests followed 2/3 weeks later.
Just to give you a taste of what I’m led to understand is happening in England at the moment. Firstly, nobody can book/rebook a test until they switch the booking system on, and initially tests are being restricted to those who had one booked before the lockdown and any key worker tests outstanding. I’m led to believe that both of our examiners are coming back to work but its doubtful they will be working at the same time, which means 1 examiner a day for just 5 tests a day (down from the normal 7). In England this has meant that waiting times for tests for those who didn’t have one booked, is long - one test centre in Buxton is already booked up until January next year (ouch!). Hopefully that is unique and not a taste of things to come but it’s probably best to prepare for a bit of a wait to be able to sit a driving test.
A couple of things:-
Cash Payments - a while back I stated that cash would not longer be accepted and it still remains that I would prefer all payments to be done online or bank transfer - But for those who can’t I have come up with a way to safely accept cash. In the car will be a zip locked bag in which you can place cash and therefore we are not both handling it. You will need to put in the exact amount though, I cannot give out change - up to you.
2 hr Lessons - I also stated prior that I would only be doing 2 hr lessons from now on - again, I would prefer it and any new students once I get spaces again will only be offered 2 hr spots. But for all of you, I’m going to go back on this and offer you the choice. I would suggest it depends largely on how far you are away from taking a test. Those who are just starting or part way would probably do best with 2 hr’s to try and fill the 4 month gap, but anybody else may just need some refreshers. After I know what is happening I’ll contact anybody who completes a Risk Assessment and let’s discuss what you want to do.
So, I know I’ve said it more times that any of us wanted but….HOPEFULLY this is the final update and I’ll see you again very, very soon in the car.