The responsibilities of the Education Committee shall be to guide both Council and the Senior Management Team in work concerning the education of compulsory school-age students and to promote good practice in geographical education. For the avoidance of doubt all references to education in this document refer to education of compulsory school-age students in any setting.
Dr Melanie Norman (Chair, Vice President: Education)
Dr Emma Rawlings Smith (Honorary Secretary: Education)
Ex-officio representatives from Ofsted and Ordnance Survey
All members of the Committee will serve one fixed term of four years.
Co-opted Committee members will bring a range of expertise and experience of geographical education for compulsory school-age students.
All members co-opted by the Committee will be subject to approval by Council. Society staff will attend ex officio as required.
Co-option to the Committee
There are three routes to appointment/co-option. The October 2022 meeting of Education Committee concluded that direct co-option (2. below) serves the current needs of the Committee’s work effectively, however these ToR retain options 1 and 3 in order that this body can respond to events or requirements and supplement or modify this approach.
Direct election: appointment of places on the Committee to take place simultaneously with, and as part of the process of, the annual cycle of elections to Council.
Direct co-option: this aligns with the dictionary definition of the term co-option (‘appoint to membership of a committee or other body by invitation of the existing members: "the committee may co-opt additional members for special purposes".’). This allows for specific skills or knowledge, or institutional or sectoral interest to be represented on a sub-committee. This is relevant to the Education Committee in terms of bodies such as Ofsted, or representation of relevant institutions such as Ordnance Survey. But it is also relevant where a sectoral, skills or knowledge gap may become evident, such as inclusion of primary education experience. Such proposals for co-option require formal approval by Council, generally ‘by circulation’ depending on the meeting cycle.
Appointment by application: by this route the role and responsibilities, and associated skills and knowledge required, would be advertised through Society channels and applications considered and, as relevant applicants interviewed.
Frequency of meetings
The Committee bi-annually, in October and February.
The Education Committee shall be quorate when 50% of its members are present, in person or through teleconferencing.
Decision-making shall be by consensus as far as possible. If a vote is required, each member shall have one vote and the Chair shall have the casting vote.
The duties of the Committee shall be:
Policy and strategy
To contribute to the development of the Society’s thinking on all aspects of geographical education and its understanding of the wider school educational context
To advise on the Society’s response to consultations on school educational matters
To influence the development of the school curriculum and exam specifications for geography by actively engaging with organisations responsible for them
To advise on the prioritisation of work within the Society’s education team, leading to an agreed work plan
To monitor progress against agreed priorities, in line with the published work plan
To contribute to the creation of the Society's strategic plans, focussing on areas relating to geographical education in schools, ensuring they are aligned with current good practice
To support the Society’s work on specific time bound educational projects by evaluating, advising and reflecting on their efficacy
Recruitment and Professional Development
To support the Society’s work promoting geography education to young people by advising on effective methods for promoting the subject to those young people
To advise the Society on current issues in teacher recruitment and Initial Teacher Education, to enable the Society to maximise its impact in this area
To recommend areas in which the Society might most effectively contribute to the professional development of geography teachers, and the methods by which this might be achieved
To advise the Society on the handling of controversial issues in education where there is an overlap with the Society’s interests
To recommend effective engagement strategies for the communication of the Society’s thinking to those working in education and to young people
Safeguarding and Health & Safety
To have oversight of the Society’s safeguarding policy and to report annually to Council on updates to the policy and any issues arising. Procedurally, the policy should be reviewed by the committee annually, taking into account any relevant updates in DfE policy. Council should review the policy every three years, aligned with each Presidential appointment
To support the Society in the safe and effective running of any event promoted by the Society that involves young people
These Terms of Reference will be reviewed by the Committee every three years.
Due for review by Council in December 2025.