Papers and responses

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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. You can also find the last two Ofsted subject reports and subject specific guidance.

GA Reports
Consultation responses

Articles and letters

Ofsted publications

GA Reports

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.

The GA Monitoring Report on Geography Education (2011). The report focuses on the overall condition of geography in England and includes detailed examination results and a round-up of the GA's policy work during the year. (16.05.12)

Consultation Responses

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GA response to a consultation by the Department for Education (consultation closing date 16 October 2015)

GA response to a consultation by the Department for Education (consultation closing date 3 February 2015)

The GA's response to the Ofsted consultation (launched 09 October 2014) on proposals for a new framework for the inspection of schools, further education and skills providers and registered early years settings.

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.

GA response to Ofqual consultation concerning A/AS regulatory requirements (14.01.14)

Primary assessment and accountability under the new national curriculum - GA response (12.10.13)


GA response to Ofqual regarding GCSE Reform (03.09.13)


GA GCSE subject content response (August 2013)


GA Feedback on final draft of geography programmes of study National curriculum review: new programmes of study and attainment targets from September 2014 (sent July 2013)


Geography A level content review – to Chief Executives of the four largest Awarding Bodies (sent 03.07.13)


Secondary School Accountability Consultation Submission from the Geographical Association. (01.05.13)


The Commons Education Committee recently announced an inquiry into School Direct recruitment for 2013/14. The GA has responded with this letter, which raises a number of observations and concerns about the development of School Direct as a means of training secondary school geography teachers. (26.06.13)


Letter to Janet Holloway at Ofqual clarifying the GA position on two key aspects of geography qualification reform: fieldwork and internal assessment. (10.04.13)


The GA's response to the government's proposals to reform the examination system at Key Stage 4, replacing GCSEs with English Baccalaureate Certificates. December 2012. 

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. November 2012.


Response to an Ofqual consultation on proposed reforms to A-levels in England including content, assessment structure and purpose. September 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. January 2012.


Response to the review of the National Curriculum for England from a number of organisations, including the GA, offering guidance on the key knowledge, understanding and concepts in Earth science which we believe all school students should be introduced to through science and geography.


Response to the DfE consultation 'Proposed changes to allow qualified teachers from further education and from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to become permanent teachers in English schools' by the GA's Teacher Education Special Interest Group. December 2011.


Response to the DfE consultation 'Training our next generation of outstanding teachers. An improvement strategy for discussion' by the GA's Teacher Education Special Interest Group. July 2011.


The GA's response to the Department for Education's National Curriculum review, April 2011.


Evidence submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee for Education relating to the English Baccalaureate. March 2011.


The GA's response to a major independent review of vocational education for 14-19 year olds led by Professor Alison Wolf of King's College London. October 2010. Update: the report was published on 3 March 2011 and is available to download from the DfE website.


This response, compiled by the GA Education Committee and Curriculum Leadership team, was sent to Ofsted in July 2010.


This document contains the GA's response to the joint DFID/DCSF Global Learning For Schools consultation sent in May 2010.


This document forms a joint response to the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Low Carbon Skills consultation. It was put together by the DEA in conjunction with the RSPB, the Geographical Association, People and Planet, the East Midlands Network for Global Perspectives in Schools, and Osborne Middle School. (May 2010)


Here is the GA's response to the Ofqual consultation entitled 'Regulating for confidence in standards' in March 2010. Ofqual requested feedback on how they should meet their objectives, fulfill their duties and use their powers. Note: As this consultation was completed online, The PDF is in the form of screengrabs.


A paper submitted to the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee Evidence Session on Learning Outside the Classroom in February 2010. It argues for the importance of fieldwork and LOTC in geography.


This is the Geographical Association's response to the CFSA framework blueprint for subject association engagement with the Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) programme.


When the secondary curriculum was reviewed and subsequently implemented from September 2008, some amendments were proposed to the level descriptions to reflect changes to the secondary curriculum programmes of study. A consultation regarding the proposed revisions was issued by the DCSF. Here is the GA's response to the level description revisions proposed for geography.


The Children, Schools and Families Committee have been undertaking an inquiry into Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Here is the consultation response from the GA, prepared by the Teacher Education Special Interest Group, and complete with Appendices.


The GA's reponse to the 'Review of DFID's work to Build Support for Development through the education system'. Compiled on behalf of the Education Committee of the Geographical Association by Angus Willson. (Added 16.10.09)


This is the GA response to the primary curriculum reforms recommended by the Rose Review. Members of the GA that have contributed to this collaborative response include teachers, headteachers, lecturers, GA staff and consultants, LA representatives and members of the wider education authority. (Added 07.07.09)


This longer document compiles responses to the interim report of the Rose Review and attempts to show the relationship of geography to other elements of the whole primary school.


On 20 February 2009, The Cambridge Primary Review published a special, two-part report on the primary curriculum entitled 'Towards a New Primary Curriculum'. Here is a press release to the CfSA summarising the GA's response to the report.


Articles and letters

A letter to the Schools Minister from 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.

Correspondence between Professor David Lambert and the Chief Executive Officer of Ofqual regarding uncertainties about GCSE Geography specification approval. June/July 2012.


This paper was prepared by Professor David Lambert as a comment on and response to particular aspects of the White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, 24 November 2010. It is especially concerned with plans for curriculum assessment and qualifications.


This is a discussion paper about level descriptions and assessment in geography prepared by John Hopkin for the Education Committee in December 2006.


This is a discussion document. It follows a special seminar held on 26 February 2005 involving 21 leading members of the Association with direct teaching and other professional experience across all phases. The group drew from experience in teaching, teacher education, inspection, consultancy, ASTs, curriculum development projects and education research.

'The Power of Geography' is David Lambert's original response to the comments made by David Bell in November 2004.

'Why subjects really matter' is David Lambert's opinion piece on the importance of subjects in education written in January 2005.

In this article (Jan 2005) Peter Jackson and Doreen Massey discuss the importance of thinking geographically in an increasingly inter-dependent world.

The aim of this paper is to explain why achieving an improvement in the quality of pupils’ geographical understanding is, to a large degree, dependent on teachers gaining a clearer grasp of the nature of understanding, in general, and geographical understanding, in particular. By Trevor Bennetts, February 2005.

This is a revised version of an earlier paper discussing the development of a 14-19 humanities curriculum. By David Lambert and Martin Roberts, updated January 2005.

This QCA Geography Team report prepared by Michael Naish and Eleanor Rawling follows a summit held in January 2005 as part of the Futures Project. Visit the QCA Futures website and forum for more interesting papers and discussion.

David Lambert's response to an article by Chris Woodhead published in The Times on 3rd April 2005. The original article entitled 'Education: Teach facts not twaddle' can be viewed here.

Roy Laming of ESRI (UK) discusses the increasing use of GIS in a variety of capacities, and looks at ways in which it can be used to enhance geographical education.

This report is based on teacher focus group meetings, convened during May and June 2004. The aim was to discover more about the relative absence of 'education for sustainable development' (ESD) in the school curriculum. (added 30.09.05)

An edited version of this piece by David Lambert was published in the TES on Friday 3 November 2006. The article responded to the results of a poll in National Geographic Kids Magazine which revealed that 20% of British students cannot identify the British Isles on a world map. Read the TES article online. (Added 27.11.06)

Ofsted publications

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