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GA Advocacy for Geography

In this section, you will find some of the GA’s work to advocate for geography in education.

The GA directly advises the Government and other key stakeholders on curriculum and policy matters. As the leading subject association for all teachers of geography, the GA acts as the voice of geography educational professionals, exerts significant influence on policy making and national educational debate and provides advice and guidance at every level.

It is our wide membership base which lends the GA this authority and every membership is significant.

On this page you will find links to various papers, articles and letters, written by members, staff and committees of the GA over the years, that testify to our continuing commitment to geography education.

For links and documents from before 2012 please view our Advocacy for geography archive page.

 

General advocacy

Papers and consultation responses concerning the contribution of geography to education, issues in geography education and other general matters.

 

Climate change: an educational response – A Kinder article for SecEd (January 2020)
The previous GA’s Chief Executive reflects on the recent climate strikes and sets out how schools can respond.

Wales curriculum consultation – GA response (July 2019)
The GA’s response to the draft curriculum for Wales 2022

Early careers framework – Letter to the editor of TES (May 2019)
A letter to the editor of the Times Education Supplement on the importance of subject-specific mentoring and professional development in the implementation of the Early Career Framework.

Ofsted 2019 inspection framework – GA response (April 2019)
The GA’s response to Ofsted’s 2019 inspection framework, which pays increased attention to the quality of a school’s curriculum.

DfE SDG4 voluntary national review – GA submission (March 2019)
A summary of the GA’s work towards Sustainable Development Goal 4, plans for the future, as well as analysis of the key challenges.

Ofsted research into curriculum and curriculum design – summary of evidence from the Geographical Association (September 2018)
A summary of key arguments and materials from the Geographical Association, with reference to the importance of curriculum thinking in schools, submitted to Ofsted as part of their research exercise, conducted throughout 2017 and most of 2018. Alan Kinder, previous GA Chief Executive, said, ‘The GA has engaged with Ofsted throughout its curriculum research, helping to set out the scope and purposes of a good geography curriculum for the Chief Inspector and her team.’

DfID survey on the future of global learning in the UK – response from the GA (September 2017)
GA response to a survey ending 31 October 2017 by the Department for International Development, consulting on the design of a new programme for development education from 2018.

Welsh Government Education and Public Services Directorate: Curriculum Division – consultation response from the GA on the New Professional Standards for teaching and leadership in schools (May 2017)
Consultation with the GA on New Professional Standards in Wales, and related professional development issues.

Commons Education Select Committee call for evidence: the purpose and quality of education in England – GA response (January 2016)
GA response to Commons Education Committee’s call for evidence of 25 January 2016, on the purpose and future of education.

Department for Education (DfE) Call for Evidence – A standard for teachers’ professional development – GA response (October 2015)
Provides examples of CPD from the GA, as well as medium- and long-term approaches to the issue.

The Great Debate: Questions for those who work in education – Response from the Geographical Association Wales Special Interest Group (May 2015)
GA Wales Special Interest Group response to Professor Donaldson’s report on curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales.

DfE consultation: A world-class teaching profession – GA response (February 2015)
GA response to DfE consultation on quality professional development for teachers ending 3 February 2015.

OFSTED consultation: Better Inspection for all – GA response (December 2014)
The GA’s response to the Ofsted consultation (launched 9 October 2014) on proposals for a new framework for the inspection of schools, further education and skills providers and registered early years settings.

Council for British Geography
COBRIG exists to promote and advance geography and geographical education in the four regions of the United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

 

National curriculum reform

Documents relating to National Curriculum reform and/or related to the 5-14 age range. See also the National curriculum reform timeline.

 

DfE consultation: Primary assessment and accountability under the new national curriculum – GA response (October 2013)
GA response to Primary assessment and accountability under the new national curriculum, with evaluation of the effectiveness of different techniques for assessment of students’ ongoing progress.

GA_Feedback_on_final_draft_of_geography_programmes_of_study_National_curriculum_review
GA feedback on final draft of the geography National Curriculum review: new programmes of study and attainment targets from September 2014.

 

GCSE reform

Documents relating to GCSE reform and/or related to the 14-16 age range. See also the GCSE reform timeline.

 

Ofqual-DfE_exams_2022_consultation_-_GA_response_(Aug2021)
The GA’s consultation response to the changes proposed by Ofqual and the Dfe to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022.

Ofqual_consultation_exams_2022_-_GA_response_(May_2021)
The GA’s final response to the Ofqual consultation on requirements for qualifications in 2022.

Ofqual-DfE_2021_exams_consultation_-_GA_response_(Jan_2021)
The GA’s response to the Ofqual/DfE consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021.

Qualifications_Wales_v4_consultation_response
The GA’s Wales Special Interest Group’s response to proposed GCSE reforms in Wales.

Ofqual_2021_exams_consultation_GA_response_July2020
Following a high volume of messages from teachers and input from its Education Group experts, the GA has responded formally to the Ofqual consultation on GCSE and A level geography examinations in 2021.

GA_Consultation_on_implementing_the_ebacc_Jan_16
GA response to DfE consultation on the implementation of the EBacc, considering the approaches schools intend to take to manage challenges relating to the teaching of EBacc subjects.

GA_response_to_Ofqual_re_GCSE_Reform_3rd_September_2013
GA response to consultation about the regulatory aspects of proposed changes to GCSEs taken by students in England.

GA_Subject_content_response_GCSE_20_August_2013
GA response to consultation on GCSE subject content, assessment objectives and preparation for further study.

GA_Secondary_School_Accountability_Consultation_Submission
GA response to consultation arguing for a narrower core of important foundation subjects, including geography, as well as the usage and dissemination of school performance data.

GA_Letter_to_Janet_Holloway_at_Ofqual
Letter to Janet Holloway at Ofqual clarifying the GA’s position on two key aspects of geography qualification reform: fieldwork and internal assessment.

GA_AUOfqualJune2012
Correspondence between Professor David Lambert and the Chief Executive Officer of Ofqual regarding uncertainties about GCSE geography specification approval.

GA_AUKS4ReformDec2012
GA response to consultation on KS4 reform: the maintenance of GCSE qualifications and the introduction of the English Baccalaureate.

 

A level reform

Documents relating to A level reform and/or related to the Post-16 age range. See also the A level reform timeline.

 

Qfqual/DfE consultation on exams 2022 (August 2021)
The GA’s consultation response to the changes proposed by Ofqual and the Dfe to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2022.

Ofqual consultation on exams summer 2022 (May 2021)
The GA’s final response to the Ofqual consultation on requirements for qualifications in 2022.

Ofqual/DfE consultation on 2021 exams – GA response (January 2021)
The GA’s response to the Ofqual/DfE consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021.

Ofqual consultation on proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021 – GA response (July 2020)
Following a high volume of messages from teachers and input from its Education Group experts, the GA has responded formally to the Ofqual consultation on GCSE and A level geography examinations in 2021.

Palombo, Hammond and Mitchell (2020) ‘The findings of the survey of mentoring in geography education‘, Teaching Geography.
A report on the findings of the mentoring survey from spring 2019.

Ofqual A Level Regulatory Requirements consultation- GA response (January 2014)
GA response to Ofqual consultation concerning A/AS regulatory requirements, recommendations on the new structures proposed.

Smith review of A level subject content – GA response (July 2013)
GA submission of views on A level content reviews for first teaching in September 2015.

GA_AUACMEResponseNov12
The response from the GA’s Post-16 Phase Committee to work being done by the British Academy and the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) intended to influence post-16 mathematical education.

Ofqual consultation: A-level reform – GA response (September 2012)
Response to an Ofqual consultation on proposed reforms to A levels in England including content, assessment structure and purpose.

 

Teacher training and supply

GA policy documents and other materials relating to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and teacher supply.

 

GA response to government consultation on Initial teacher training (ITT) market review recommendations (August 2021).
GA response to a government consultation on market review recommendations for Initial teacher training.

GA letter to Ofsted about ITE inspection framework (July 2020)
A letter to HMCI Amanda Spielman from the previous GA Chief Executive Alan Kinder and the Chair of the GA Teacher Education Phase Committee Grace Healy regarding Ofsted’s consultation on a new framework for Initial Teacher Education, July 2020.

The GA’s response to the Government consultation launched 27 January 2020 (March 2020)
The GA’s response to the Government consultation launched 27 January 2020, of which full details can be found here, made by the previous Chief Executive of the GA and its Teacher Education Special Interest Group (TESIG).

Geography Initial Teacher Education in three days! The new PGCE ‘PE with’ EBacc scheme
An journal article from Teaching Geography on the challenges facing non-specialist teachers who want to teach secondary geography as part of the government’s new PGCE ‘PE with’ EBacc scheme.

Strengthening Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and improving career progression for teachers – GA consultation response (March 2018)
The GA responds to a Department for Education (DfE) consultation on strengthening Qualified Teacher Status and improving career progression for teachers. It welcomes the proposal for a lengthened period of sustained professional practice after the end of Initial Teacher Education (ITE), as long as this proposal is supported by sufficient resources. The GA agrees that a core early career framework is important to provide a clear entitlement for all newly qualified teachers to access high-quality, relevant CPD and to address the current very fragmented landscape for induction post ITE. Significant resources are also required to further support mentors, the ‘unsung heroes’ of the ITE and induction system.

Geography initial teacher education (ITE) and teacher supply in England: 2018 update (March 2018)
In 2015 the GA published Geography initial teacher education and teacher supply in England: A national research report. This follow-up paper draws on recent research evidence and ITE policy developments (up to March 2018) to review and update the findings of the original report.

National Audit Office: Retaining and developing the teaching workforce – GA submission (September 2017)
DfE Specialist and non-specialist teaching in England research report – GA response (December 2016)
In December 2016 the DfE published the results of its research into the impact of specialist and non-specialist teaching on pupil outcomes. The GA wrote to the DfE in response to this research report.

House of Commons Education Select Committee enquiry: supply of teachers inquiry – GA response (November 2015)
GA response to issues related to the recruitment and retention of secondary geography teachers.

Geography initial teacher education and teacher supply in England: A national research report by the Geographical Association (2015)
With clear signals of a looming crisis of teacher supply in geography, this report considers the impact of changes to ITE in England since 2010 and their effects on the quality and quantity of geography teachers being trained, and draws on a wide range of evidence to substantiate its findings and support its recommendations. Given that both educationalists and government agree on the ‘vital importance of good quality teachers’ to education in England, there can be no more important a focus for this first GA National Research Report. Supporting information – research questionnaire and list of schools involved.

Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (England): Call for Evidence – GA response (May 2014)
In May 2014 Sir Andrew Carter OBE was appointed to chair a review of the quality and effectiveness of initial teacher training (ITT) courses. This is the Geographical Association’s submission in response to the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (England): Call for Evidence September 2014.

Commons Education Select Committee enquiry: School Direct – GA response (June 2013)
The Commons Education Committee announced an inquiry into School Direct recruitment for 2013/14. The GA responded with this letter, which raised a number of observations and concerns about the development of School Direct as a means of training secondary school geography teachers.

GA Letter to David Laws MP about ITT places (November 2012)
A letter to the Schools Minister from previous GA Chief Executive Alan Kinder and the Chair of the GA Teacher Education Special Interest Group Dr Charles Rawding regarding the allocation of ITT places for secondary Geography PGCE and Schools Direct courses. November 2012.

Ofsted consultation: revision of the framework for the inspection ITE – response from the GA Teacher Education Special Interest Group (January 2012)
Response to the Ofsted consultation document ‘Proposals for revised inspection arrangements for initial teacher education partnerships from September 2012’ by the GA’s Teacher Education Special Interest Group.

 

Advocacy for geography

The Advocacy for geography articles below are drawn from GA Magazine, and provide a summary of the work going on across the GA to make the case for advancing geography in education and society more broadly.

‘Advocacy for geography’ replaces ‘Policy matters’ in the GA Magazine. The full archive of articles can be found below:

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National Festival of Fieldwork 2024

The GA encourages everyone to take part in June 2024