Milton Keynes Academy has become the first school in the UK to be a venue for driving lessons to young people, aged 11 to 17. On Saturday 16th June, Young Driver a company sponsored by SEAT, Goodyear and Admiral Insurance brought their driving course for young people to the Academy. Using the car park and adding various road junctions and features, Young Drivers created the opportunity for young people to get behind the wheel.
Research carried out in Sweden shows that accident rates plummet when drivers had lessons at an earlier age. Kim Staton of Young Drivers Ltd was enthusiastic about working from the Academy: “‘The Academy works with the age group we are aiming at, I believe that when you are teaching in a learning environment you have the chance to emphasise the importance of thorough preparation before driving on the road. At 17, young people are only interested in passing their test.” The statistics are scary, one in five newly qualified drivers will crash within six months of passing their test.
As for the young people, they loved every minute! Callum Gray, a Year 8 student at the Academy thought: ”It was amazing, I couldn’t believe what I was able to do, I even reversed!” Danielle Reece, a Year 9 student thought it was: “A brilliant experience” and her father valued the opportunity for his daughter, hoping that it would lead her to be a safe driver in the future. Young Driver employ specially trained driving instructors who work with a fleet of brand new, dual control SEAT Ibiza cars; Andrew McGill, a Year 11 student, said that he enjoyed their ‘informal and friendly’ approach.
Dara Carroll, Associate Head of Milton Keynes Academy sees the potential of a future partnership between the Academy and Young Driver: “I am excited about the opportunities that working alongside Young Driver will bring to students at the Academy; we are always keen to develop students’ awareness of road safety issues and feel that this programme gives the Academy innovative ways of influencing our students’ attitudes to safety.”