Each member of NASP - ADI NJC, DIA and MSA GB have issued their own response to the DVSA blog and Press Release,
each one takes a slightly different line but all the NASP members are united in their condemnation of the way DVSA have dealt with this matter.
On Thursday last week DVSA send NASP a copy of their Press Release, asking for a comment to be included in it by five-o-clock the same day. NASP chair Peter Harvey, protested about the short time frame available and about the whole tone of the press release.
The next day NASP received a copy of the blog post, on both items we were able to offer some last-minute suggestions for changes. We also suggested that the blog post be put out to the profession and asked that the press release to the media and thereby the public should be delayed a few days so that NASP could consult with members on the blog contents and work with the DVSA on a more constructive and less sensationalised statement for the media.
DVSA refused to delay the release and so both the Press Release and the Blog were sent out over the weekend. This resulted in sensational headlines across various media platforms such as the BBC who wrote “Sexual exploitation warning to driving instructors”. The story on their website starts “Driving instructors are being warned that if they have a sexual relationship with a young student it will now be seen as exploitation". A section on today’s Jeremy Vine show (BBC Radio 2) was titled “Was your driving Instructor a paedophile” and Sky News, the Evening Standard, HuffPost UK and iNews all featured the terms “driving instructor” “sexual relationship” and "exploitation" in the first paragraphs of their reports.
These media reactions were entirely predictable and the DVSA has done no favours to the driver training profession by rushing out these misleading statements.