Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, has welcomed the news that Lancashire County Council are looking into helping local schools pay for minibus licenses for their teachers.
After being contacted by Pendle Head Teachers struggling to afford licenses for their teachers, Andrew raised the matter with Lancashire County Council and is pleased that support looks like it is on its way.
Andrew explained, “Since 1997, European law means that you have to have a D1 license to drive a minibus. This means that teacher who passed their test prior to 1997 are able to drive school minibuses, however those who have passed their test since need to take an additional test. Whilst this was not initially a problem for local schools, after 15years a large proportion of teachers are affected, causing real difficulty.”
Andrew continued: “Although there is an exemption in the UK for volunteers including teachers, some councils, including Lancashire County, are worried about the legal position and will not support schools who want ordinary license holders to drive their minibuses. This is costly for the schools that have to fork out large sums for teachers to get the D1 license.”
After contacting Lancashire County Council the Authority have agreed to look in to helping schools get licenses for their teachers and is in discussions with possible providers. Discussions are described as ongoing with a result expected by the Autumn Term.
Andrew said, “This is welcome support for schools facing rising and unsustainable costs. I am pleased Lancashire County Council is taking action to help out and look forward to a settlement soon.”