The Geographical Association (GA) has published important information on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in geography. 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 Geography initial teacher education and supply in England: A 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.

2. 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.

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.


  1. The Geographical Association is the subject community for teachers of geography. Our charitable mission is to further geographical knowledge and understanding through education. Our journals, publications, professional events, website and local and online networks support teachers and share their ideas and practice. The GA represents the views of geography teachers and plays a leading role in public debate relating to geography and education. Formed in 1893, the GA is celebrating its 125th anniversary throughout 2018.www.geography.org
  2. 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.https://www.geography.org.uk/GA-Advocacy-for-Geography


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