1. More schools reporting that they are being asked about their minibus permits by OFSTED and the ISI, hence the realisation a D1 is required

2. Increased awareness and understanding that the Section 19 Permits can be revoked if not operated with correct licencing

3. Change in Northern Ireland from Jan 2018 that teachers require D1 and CPC to drive a minibus

4. Potential changes expected from the Department of Transport’s recent consultation on the Section 19 Permit due out this year

5. Castle Minibuses’ Greater than 8 campaign to get all teachers driving under a D1 licence and the subsequent Minibus Compliance Course launched in May 2018

6. Recent tragic accidents such as the Maesteg minibus court case highlighting the need for increased minibus safety

7. No manufacturers are building a 17-seat minibus under 3.5 tonnes for safety reasons, therefore a D1 licence is required.

What does this mean for schools?

The biggest impact now for schools is the longer waiting times for D1 driver training and tests. If you have teachers who need to pass the D1 test, the sooner they start the sooner they will pass. If budgets are an issue speak to Castle about their training payment packages.

Castle Driver Training has a D1 pass rate of twice the national average, because we help you through the theory stage and employ only experienced ADI instructors.

A D1 licence is required to drive a minibus over 3.5 tonnes (or 4.25 tonnes with specialist equipment for disabled access). No manufacturer makes such a vehicle. As the awareness that any 16-seater minibus is actually a converted van increases – the demand for D1s increase.

There is now an opportunity for schools and school transport managers to receive training on legal compliance and best practise when it comes to minibuses through the ISBA and RoSPA approved Minibus Compliance Course (www.castleminibus.co.uk/driver-training/mcc). This leaves schools in no doubt that all drivers of 8+ passenger vehicles require a D1.

*figures based on Castle Minibus D1 driver training bookings Jan-Aug 2017 compared to the same period in 2018.