Geography teachers heard from both Ofsted and Ofqual at the recent Geographical Association annual conference. Alan Kinder reports on the mood among teachers and subject leaders

In April, more than 800 geography teachers, students, academics and teacher trainers attended the Geographical Association’s annual conference: three days of workshops, lectures, debates and networking events, bringing geography educators from across the country and the world together to share ideas and learn from one other.

The mood among secondary teachers varied between quiet satisfaction (the immediate challenge of designing new GCSE and A level courses having been tackled) and anxiety, often as a result of working in a high-stakes accountability environment.

A range of their fears surfaced during a session with a senior speaker from Ofqual, the qualification regulator. In discussion, several teachers highlighted their concern that new geography GCSEs are formulaic and overloaded with content, denying them the opportunity to explore topics with students in sufficient depth.

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