What is the GA?
The Geographical Association (GA) is the leading subject association for teachers of geography. As a registered charity our mission is to ‘further geographical knowledge and understanding through education’. The Association is a lively community of practice with over a century of innovation behind it and an unrivalled understanding of geography teaching.
What does the GA do?
The GA supports geography education by providing a specialist community of practice for teachers to share ideas with one another. We support teachers’ professional needs through our journals, publications, training courses, Annual Conference, Quality Marks, website materials, social media activity and a variety of local and national network activities, including face-to-face and virtual networking.
The GA also represents the views of geography teachers and demonstrates the value of geographical education more widely, for example through our Manifesto for geography. We advocate for geography teachers with government and others, and our strategic vision is to be ‘the trusted voice for geography in education’.
Who are the GA's members?
The GA has several thousand personal and institutional memberships. These include primary and secondary teachers, trainee teachers, teacher educators, academics, geography undergraduates, infant, primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, libraries, societies, museums and businesses. Despite being a UK based organisation, we have members in more than 60 countries and strong links with geographical organisations around the world. Join the GA here.
Who runs the GA?
The GA is a membership organisation. Our activities are often driven by members, many of whom freely volunteer their time and expertise in support of the GA. The GA is overseen by its Governing Body and advised on educational matters by its Education Group.
- Governing Body - has overall responsibility for the GA and its current and future well-being. The Governing Body is responsible for the stewardship of the GA in accordance with the law and the GA's charitable objectives.
- Education Group - formulates the educational policy of the GA and oversees its Early Years/Primary, Secondary and Post 16/HE Phase Committees, along with its Special Interest Groups and Communications Boards.
The GA has a dedicated body of professional staff, based at headquarters, which runs the day-to-day operation of the Association under the leadership of its Chief Executive. The Association also benefits from the guidance of our Honorary Vice Presidents.
Where is the GA based?
The GA owns its headquarters building in Sheffield, but affiliated Branches of the GA are widely distributed across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. GA Conference rotates annually between venues in the North, Midlands and South of England.
Find out more
The Geographical Association exists to further geographical knowledge and understanding through education.
The GA’s beliefs and values are that:
- geographical education enriches the lives of all young people
- a dynamic subject community is built on participation and innovation
- an independent Association demands stable finances.
Our Strategic Plan sets out what we want to achieve, and how we plan to achieve it. It helps us to set our direction, prioritise what we do and reflect on how well we are doing. The plan was agreed in consultation with GA staff, trustees and volunteers.
Our vision for 2020 is to ‘provide a trusted voice for geography in education’.
In an increasingly complex and fast-changing world, the GA is a source of trustworthy and authoritative advice and guidance on all matters relating to geography in education. We provide support to teachers and advice to government and other organisations so that the benefits of a quality geographical education are made clear.
Download: Strategic plan overview (PDF)
Our strategic aims guide our work and help achieve this vision. Each of the aims is necessarily broad, intended to have relevance over the entire planning period and provide a sense of strategic direction. These are listed in the Strategic Plan (PDF).
Strategic aim 1 - Meet professional and educational needs
As the leading subject association for all teachers of geography, we engage and support geography education professionals at every stage of their careers. We provide students with the quality materials they need to learn, and teachers with the practical help and advice they need to teach, alongside the professional guidance needed to develop their expertise. To extend the range of GA support, we also help non-members, in ways that do not undermine the benefits of membership.
Strategic aim 2 - Demonstrate the value of geographical education
Although the range of school settings is widening and the competition for space within the curriculum remains intense, the GA’s Manifesto for geography makes clear that geography is a fundamental part of everyone’s education. By drawing on the evidence of research and classroom practice, and by working constructively in partnership with others, we ensure that teachers, school leaders, policy makers, the media and other relevant organisations appreciate the rich opportunities for learning offered by geography and its role in promoting personal and intellectual development for young people.
Strategic aim 3 - Use our resources efficiently and sustainably
Stable finances maintain our independence and support our charitable mission. We make effective use of key assets, such as staff and volunteers, and are exploring the potential of technology and our headquarters building. At the same time, we are extending the range of financial support and preparing the Association for the future.
Download: Strategic plan GA Mag article (PDF)
How we measure our success
Our vision and strategic aims provide us with a clear and compelling ambition for geography in schools. In order to be effective, we need to describe our ambition in clearly measurable terms. We have identified a range of indicators to help us do this. Our indicators include quantifiable outcomes, such as the level of membership or the number of teachers who buy books from our professional range, to qualitative information, such as feedback from CPD courses and the impact of the Association on geography education policy.
The GA is a registered charity (number 1135148). We were an unincorporated association from our formation in 1893 until 2010, when we purchased our own headquarters building and were incorporated as a private company limited by guarantee (company number 07139068).
The GA Articles of Association and By-Laws are the governing documents of the Association. They act as our ‘rule books’, setting out our charitable purposes (‘objects’), activities we are permitted to undertake to carry out our purposes, who runs the GA and who can be a member, as well as how meetings will be held and trustees appointed etc.
The GA also operates in accordance with its own policies on matters such as equal opportunities and sustainability. Key policy documents are also available to view in this section.
- GA Articles of Association (PDF)
- GA By-Laws (PDF)
- GA Environmental/sustainable development policy (PDF)
- GA Equal opportunities policy (PDF)
- GA Ethical Policy (PDF)
- GA Volunteer Policy (PDF)
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