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Geography initial teacher education and teacher supply in England

The report draws on a wide range of evidence to substantiate its findings and complements the research undertaken by the GA in 2015, which led to the publication of its National Research Report.


Key findings

  1. Training quality

The amount of subject-specialist input in geography ITE is very variable. New geography programmes are being established that rely on generic training without the oversight of a geography specialist.

  1. Teacher supply

There is a crisis of teacher supply in geography. The DfE has doubled the recruitment target for geography trainees to try to make good the shortfall, but the target was missed by 20% in 2017 and projections for September 2018 are looking bleak.

  1. Trainees’ subject knowledge

The higher training bursary does not always attract candidates with good geography credentials. Relying on subject knowledge enhancement programmes to provide teachers with sufficient geography specialist knowledge could prove to be a high-risk strategy and its impact should be monitored carefully.


Read the 2018 update report


Background notes

GA National Research Reports are evidence-based, national in scope and authored in collaboration with experts in the field. NRRs play a role in monitoring trends, issues, policies and standards nationally and have several audiences. They are for practitioners in schools, who want to know how their position compares with the national picture, gain understanding of the issues and find examples or principles of good professional practice. They assist the GA and other organisations to direct their improvement work with schools and geography education professionals. And they are for policy makers – assisting policy decisions by presenting evidence of the impact of policy decisions.

Our research reports are available on the GA advocacy for geography page.