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The Primary Geography Quality Mark

The Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM)

The PGQM timeline

There are five steps to achieving the PGQM:

1. Before you register – Discuss the implications of applying for the PGQM with colleagues and your senior leadership team. Gather support, both in terms of finance and planning time, to enable you to successfully complete the collaborative process of reflection. Check on your school’s membership status – your school must be a member of the GA to register for the award. Free primary membership does not qualify your school to undertake the PGQM. You can join online or by calling on 0114 296 0088.

2. Register – This can be done online or by contacting You can register at any point but the deadline for each cohort is 1 November each year.

Returning PGQM Gold school visit pathway

Returning PGQM Gold schools, we are excited to offer you the opportunity to showcase your geography in person rather than to present evidence via a portfolio. Your application process would be as follows:
• Complete the data dashboard as normal.
• Present a 3 to 4 page overview of the significant developments in geography that have been implemented since the last award sequence.
• Host a moderator for a day in July. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate the consistently high standard of geography across your school by enabling the moderator to talk with staff, pupils and members of the SLT, observe geography in practice, view pupil outcomes and generally be immersed in geography for the day.
If you are a returning gold school and would like to take advantage of this option please choose the relevant option on the registration form or contact Julie Beattie or Jon Cannell.

3. Audit– Use the PGQM framework to audit the subject, deciding whether each criteria is embedded, secure or an area for development. It is a good idea to do this collaboratively and to tie it in to your subject development plan, School Improvement Plan and staff appraisal targets.

4. Data Dashboard– complete the Data Dashboard section of the application form on the host platform, ‘PebblePad’ by 1 March. This will include information about your school’s geography provision at the start of the process.

5. Collect evidence and complete PGQM application– You will need to provide evidence for each criteria on the PGQM framework. This is the step which takes the most time – at least two terms is usual – and is used by the moderators to assess your submission. Your application should tell the story of your school to include the areas you want to celebrate and the aspects you have developed. PebblePad will enable you to add and save to your evidence portfolio continuously until the final deadline.

6. Submission – this will be fully electronic with no need for any paper copies. PebblePad will save and store your application, complete with any supporting documentation, keeping it safe until it auto-locks at the end of deadline day: 21 June.


For a more detailed timeline of the process, see below:

Framework overview

The submission will include evidence for each of the 20 criteria of the PGQM framework. As can be seen from the extract, its split into four sections, allowing schools to demonstrate that they deliver a geography curriculum which allows cognitive, social, and emotional and personal growth.

Registered schools get free access to PebblePad; a comprehensive password protected platform containing the full PGQM framework and a range of support, guidance and exemplification to help you complete your PGQM application.


Table of costs


PGQM costs

Returning PGQM Gold school ‘visit’ costs

Very small schools



Small schools 100-249 pupils



Medium schools 250-399 pupils



Large schools >400 pupils



PGQM contacts

Julie Beattie – PGQM administrator

Jon Cannell – Primary Curriculum Leader

More than just an award…

While we hope that all schools will successfully complete the PGQM and achieve an award to recognise this, it is important to recognise that the process of self-evaluation, development and improvement for your whole department is possibly even more valuable. The fee that the school pays covers: 

  • Access to the workbook which includes the key indicator framework, support, guidance and exemplification of high-quality practice
  • Registration at the support webinars 
  • Access to our online community where you can network with other teachers who are engaging with the Geography Quality Mark
  • Bespoke support and guidance from GA staff throughout the process
  • The assessment and moderation of the quality of geography being taught in your school by our expert team of geography educators
  • A certificate and detailed feedback on your submission so that know where to focus your next steps
  • Permission to use the Primary Geography Quality Mark logo in your work for the three years that you hold the award
  • An invitation to our celebration event, held in the autumn term, which includes the opportunity to network as well as some professional development input.

Map of PGQM schools

To view a larger version of this map, click here.

Further reading

Cannell, J. (2017), ‘Quality Marks,’ The Geographical Association Magazine, (37) 19-20.

GA Primary Geography Quality Mark presentation

Register for the 2025 Quality Mark before 31 July and receive a 20% discount off your fee.


Become a member

GA membership provides specialist support and expert advice for geography teaching

Geography Quality Marks

Register for the 2025 Quality Mark before 31 July and receive a 20% discount off your fee

National Festival of Fieldwork 2024

The GA encourages everyone to take part in June 2024