A note of caution about teachers driving minibuses on a car licence.
Under a Section 19 Permit there is a condition for driving minibuses on a car licence
- they receive no payment or other consideration for driving other than out-of-pocket expenses
Schools should be aware that there is some ambiguity in the law surrounding this point and whether teachers are receiving payment/consideration because they are driving as part of their employment.
Castle Minibus agree with the NASWUT and have sought expert advice on this point and therefore recommend that all teachers/school staff have D1 entitlement.
NASWUT National Union of Teachers
‘Whether a teacher may be deemed to be driving a minibus for hire and reward because they are being paid a salary as a teacher is unclear, and advice on this point is contradictory, except in Northern Ireland.
The NASUWT strongly asserts that, particularly but not exclusively due to the ambiguity around the hire/reward status, the full D1 licence is the minimum requirement, and a car licence is insufficient in all circumstances. If schools wish to train minibus drivers to D1 level, the costs of any training and testing for the D1 licence must be covered in full by the employer.’
Hertfordshire County Council
‘If you drive for your employer, your licence must include category D1. This includes teachers and school staff, during the school day or out of hours. That’s because you’re at work, being paid and your journeys are official business. There is an exemption for volunteers without D1 on their licence. However, our legal advice is that this exemption does not apply to teachers and school staff.’
Northumberland County Council
‘We insist that all drivers employed by Northumberland County Council hold category D1 minibus entitlement on their driving licence. Although there are circumstances where the law allows drivers in the voluntary sector to drive on a car licence (category B), the Freight Transport Association advise that the exemption does not apply to school teachers nor anyone else driving in the course of their paid employment. This is regardless of whether their contract of employment requires them to drive.
Clair McCarthy at CE Transport Law in October 2019.
‘I could find no case law specifically on the point of a teacher who drives a minibus in the course of their employment, but it is my view that the term consideration is not limited to payment for the specific journey but can include the general salary of the teacher or possibly non-monetary consideration. In short, I believe, albeit there is no case law on the specific issue, that your advice to your clients is correct in relation to needing a D1 category licence.’