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Calling for….

June 12, 2011

 

Fakenham, England – There is always someone calling for something these days.

The latest calling for that has caught my attention is one from the Automobile Association (AA) and Royal Automobile Club (RAC) plus road-safety charity Brake who are calling for the UK Government to add driving to the school national curriculum.

This is not a new idea, in fact it has been floated several times in the past ten years or so but has received short shrift from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Transport (DfT) mostly on the grounds of cost and difficulty of implementation.

But we live in changing times we now have legislation that allows the setting up, by anyone who fulfils the criteria, of Free Schools and Academies. Such establishments must teach a core curriculum but may choose to add other subjects or their own choice. Thus if the DfE refuses to add subjects to the national curriculum the “new” schools are free to teach them. In short we seem have a market for those who may wish to develop and sell a subject package into schools, a subject like driving.

But who I wonder could develop such a package? Could it be the RAC, owned by car insurance giant Aviva, the AA owned by Acromas Holdings who also own the British School of Motoring (BSM) and the charity Brake, which has a considerable interest in fleet driver training and improvement. Yes it would appear that faced with a situation where less young people are training to be drivers, they don’t need a driving school or insurance, the driving schools and insurers are being imaginative in market development. Self interest and business meet road safety.

Now I believe that adding driving to the national curriculum is a great idea, improving driver education and road safety among young people seems sensible. That said is it right that companies should profit from this. Actually profit from the part of taxes, paid both nationally and locally, which goes to support education. It just does not seem right.

Then what about motorcycling? Will training to ride a moped or scooter be part of the national curriculum too. Or will it be cycling and cars, electric and hybrid of course, good mopeds, scooters and motorcycles bad. Will coming generations be programmed at school that biking is simple a no no? Will freedom of choice be sacrificed on the altar of safety propaganda?

Well take this as a wake up call, a flag up of the clear and present danger that motorcycling may not make it on to a future national curriculum that includes cycles and cars.

So British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) stop fadding about on Twitter, who is interested in how many times you get into MCN? Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) forget about hi-viz in France, worry about what happens here and Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI). Well Rowan tree very pretty but a kick up the butt of the DfT and DfE on this one would be nice.

After all it is about the future of biking and we all care about that don’t we.

Be careful out there, ride safe.

© Back Roads Rider 2011

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian Cook permalink
    June 13, 2011 7:16 am

    “Will coming generations be programmed at school that biking is simple a no no?” Probably. Then maybe they will rebel against the man and all become bikers…

    Lets ensure that they can still manage to take a test and get insured at reasonable price and not be discouraged by having to dress up as a luminous prat.

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