Our responses and evidence submissions

In deciding whether to submit evidence to an inquiry or respond to a consultation, we prioritise those which:

  • Concern the development and future of geography as a discipline

  • Call for evidence in support of social and natural science, in which geography has a stake

  • Are focused on the areas we have chosen as high priorities for our knowledge exchange activities, i.e. the 'big issues' that geography can inform

Ofqual consultation on proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A Levels in 2021

The Society supports Ofqual’s proposals for the inclusion of fieldwork and the completion of students’ NEAs for A Level geography in 2021. However, the Society fundamentally disagrees with Ofqual’s proposal to remove fieldwork from the assessment of GCSE geography in 2021.

OCR consultation on proposed GCSE in Natural History

The Society shares common cause with the purpose behind the proposal for a new GCSE in Natural History and the aim that more young people should be offered the opportunity to engage with nature. However, the Society believes that the current proposals are too broadly written and create significant and unproductive overlap with other subjects including geography.

UN-GGIM Integrated Geospatial Information Framework

We highlight examples and resources from our work supporting geography education, skills and professional development for the Capacity and Education strategic pathway of the UN-GGIM's Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF). We encourage local action plans to draw upon the resources and expertise of professional and subject bodies and their members

Subject content for digital Functional Skills qualifications

The Department for Education sought views on whether proposed subject content will develop the digital skills needed for work and everyday life. Our response focused on the further development of spatial literacy and the use of digital map apps and websites.

National Data Strategy

In our reponse to the DCMS consultation, we identify examples and opportunities for geospatial data use, advocate for geospatial training, and raise issues around personal privacy.

Right to Privacy (Article 8) and the Digital Revolution

Our written evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights calls for scrutiny of how geospatial data is collected and shared, and how this impacts privacy.

Knowledge Exchange Framework Consultation

We argue for a broader understanding and subsequent assessment of knowledge exchange and collaboration. We also call for more attention to relative opportunities when determining clustering.

Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S (SPA-OPS)

We reaffirm our commitment to a transition towards a sustainable open science/research ecosystem and offer reflections on the various open access models and business plans discussed in the consultation document. 

The Draft Education Inspection Framework

We strongly support the introduction of a ‘quality of education’ judgement and the publication of Ofsted subject reviews. We also comment on the wording of Intent, Implementation and Impact statements.

Independent Review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF)

We support the aims of TEF but express concern that its metrics (including student satisfaction and employment outcomes) do not capture teaching excellence and do not explore nuances in localised provision.

Degree Classification: Transparent, Consistent and Fair academic Standards

In our response to the QAA consultation, we do not support the idea of an external advisor on academic standards, and note that proposed classification descriptors should be related to Subject Benchmark Statements.

Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S

We welcome proposals that facilitate fair, inclusive and transparent knowledge production, but urge more consideration of uneven impact on disciplines and advocate for hybrid journals, green open access and embargoes.

Improving students’ ability to make the right choices about higher education for them

We recommend the inclusion of subject bodies as key information providers and highlight the Society's provision of subject choice advice.

Improving adult basic digital skills

Our response notes that draft standards do not sufficiently recognise important geographical digital skills and privacy issues around geospatial data.

REF2021 consultation on the draft guidance and criteria

In our response regarding REF, we request transparency and clarity in methods and approach, and express concerns about administrative burden and UoA / HESA mapping

Geospatial Commission: Call For Evidence

Our evidence to the Cabinet Office focuses on the role of geography in delivering geospatial and broader geographical skills. We highlight a need to support subject specialist staff and relevant GI training in schools and HE.

Fourth Industrial Revolution Inquiry

We highlight the importance of geospatial technologies and geographical data to the UK's economy, and, in relation to this, the role of geography and geographers in future industrial development

Strengthening QTS and improving career progression for teachers

We welcome the review and strongly support the proposal for a strengthened early career content framework and CPD. We also advocate for a two-year induction period.

Draft code of practice for statistics

Our response to the UK Statistics Authority's draft code of practice for statistics notes the essential role of geography in linking and contextualising datasets.

 

 

Mayor of London draft Transport Strategy

We highlight how geography and GI can enable more efficient transport networks

ONS approach to measuring and reporting SDGs in the UK

A consultation on measuring and reporting the SDGs. Our response emphasises the importance of GI to evaluating SDG progress

National Transport Strategy (Scotland)

Our joint response with the AGI notes that geography determines transport and that locational intelligence can improve transport networks. It also includes a range of evidence on transport use and sustainability.

Skills Flagship Project

Our response emphasises the value of geography in developing AHSS skills, and aims to better define them.

Building our industrial strategy

Our response to the green paper on industrial strategy pays particular attention to the role of social sciences in developing skills, and the need for a geographical/spatial basis to regional development planning.

Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework

Our response highlights the need to recognise and accommodate interdisciplinarity, and need for continuity from REF 2014.

Closing the STEM skills gap inquiry

Our written evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the STEM skills gap.

Response submitted 2017

Teaching Excellence Framework Technical Consultation

Our response to the BEIS consultation on TEF emphasises the importance and interconnection of teaching and research and supports the use of qualitative metrics for a more effective TEF.

The impact of exiting the European Union on higher education

Our submission to the Education Committee states the importance of international collaboration in education, and highlights the importance of EU staff and students to geographical research in the UK.

Research Excellence Framework Review

A call for evidence on the REF as part of Lord Stern's independent review. Our response stresses that current metrics, and definitions of output and impact, do not adequately assess research, particularly in interdisciplinary contexts.

Purpose and quality of education in England

An inquiry on the purposes and evaluation of education in England. Our response advocates for geography's role in developing skills, supports geography's inclusion in the EBacc, and expresses concern over shortage of specialist teachers.

Implementing the English Baccalaureate

A consultation on increasing uptake of EBacc subjects to 90%. Our response requests more frequent information on subject uptake, raises concerns around shortages of specialist staff at KS3, and highlights the need to sustain fieldwork as a GCSE course component.

Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice

We caution that TEF metrics must appropriately recognise issues around equality and access, and should be better defined and communicated. We support the focus on teaching quality

Response to the Independent Working Group on a Core ITT Framework

Our response emphasises the importance of subject-specific knowledge, pedagogy, skills and community engagement.

A standard for teachers' professional development

Our response to the DfE consultation outlines the Society's CPD work with teachers, and encourages support for sustained CPD throughout teachers' careers.

 

 

Draft Concordat on Open Research Data

Our response welcomes voluntary frameworks, and advocates for greater recognition of the diversity of data types and research practices.

ECC priorities for holding Government to account

We highlight a number of policy areas for scrutiny, including energy from waste, renewable energy and power storage. We also note that the DECC must consider the energy impacts of other government policies

2021 Census: initial view on content for England and Wales

Our response to the consultation on topics for the 2021 Census in England and Wales explains how census data is used by geographers, and the importance of consistency in census definitions.

Representation in advance of the 18 July 2015 Budget

Our representation for the 2015 budget advocates for social science funding, highlights the role of geography, and supports the recommendations of the AcSS ‘Business of People’ report that call for real-terms increases and ring-fencing of the Science budget

Nurse Review of Research Councils

Our response argues for investment in innovation, and both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. We also express strong support for dual funding via Funding Councils and Research Councils.

A Level and AS geography consultation on conditions and guidance

We do not support the separation of AS and A Level Geography, or external assessment (as opposed to moderation) of of non-exam assessment. We welcome the 80:20 balance of assessment proposed.

New A levels: subject content consultation

We state that the revised A level content is not approproate and duplicates new GCSE content, but welcome the reintroduction of internally-assessed coursework

Subject Benchmark Statement: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies

Our invited response requests that the Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies statement explicitly acknowledge subject overlap with geography.

Review of the ESRC Doctoral Training Centres Network

Our response evaluates the existing network, and advocates for fieldwork and interdisciplinarity in future developments. We also highlight a lack of flexibility in 1+3 studentships.

Reformed GCSE and A Level Subject Content

Our response welcomes the revised content, and suggests some changes to wording. However, we encourage more emphasis on developing quantitative and geo-spatial data skills.

Developing new GCSE, A level and AS qualifications for first teaching in 2016

In our response to Ofqual, we agree with exam assessment at AS level, providing fieldwork must also be undertaken, and welcomes the 20% non-exam requirement for A level assessment.

Completing GCSE, AS and A Level Reform Consultation

We welcome Ofqual proposals to discontinue some courses, and strongly opposes a proposed regulatory framework to let exam boards develop core subject content.

Informing the future strategic direction of the ESRC

Our invited response encourages the ESRC to support interdisciplinary and multi-scalar research, and invest in a spatial (geographical) focus.

Subject Benchmark Statement: Geography

Our invited response to the benchmark statement for geography recommends greater emphasis on quantitative methods and GIS, and recognition of overlap with the Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies benchmark statement.

Student number controls and teaching funding: Consultation on arrangements for 2012-2014 and beyond

We argue the proposals penalise geography' success; that teaching costs, particularly from fieldwork, have been underestimated; and that HEFCE's approach rewards higher-fee institutions.

Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment

Our response reiterates the position that metrics cannot adequately capture originality, significance and rigour of academic outputs

Open access and submissions to the REF post-2014

We express concerns over proposed embargo periods, and argue for a review of HEFCE policy on OA to identify and mitigate any emerging negative consequences.

 

New A Level regulatory requirements

Our response welcomes the emphasis on fieldwork, and the potential for non-exam assessment to develop students' skills with longer-form research projects.

Open Access in the Post-2014 REF

Our reponse argues for clearer wording of criteria, point-of-publication access to outputs, and distinct HEFCE policy on embargoes and licensing.

GCSE reform consultation (Ofqual)

In response to the Ofqual consultation, we argue for the continuation of the Ebac, and recommend more opportunities for extended writing, maths and statistics work in GCSE geography. We also express concern over lower grades generally awarded to early entry students in 2013.

National curriculum review: new programmes of study and attainment targets from September 2014

Our response suggests specific changes to the geography curriculum wording, and highlights areas of connection between geography and other subjects. It also cautions against introducing time pressure on foundation subjects including geography.

College of Teaching Consultation

In our response to The Prince's Teaching Institute we criticise overlap between the proposed role of the College of Teaching, and the work and role of Learned Societies - particularly in the areas of specialist support and CPD, advice to government, and specialist accreditation.

Response submitted 2013

Reformed GCSE subject content consultation

Our response welcomes a clearer progression in content and framework from Key Stage 1 - 3 to GCSE. We also suggest formalising requirements for quantitative skills in geography, and the use of short annual fieldwork returns.

Secondary School Accountability Consultation

Our response expresses concern that the "measure of 8" perfomance measure within the EBacc does not necessarily include a humanities subject

Reform of the National Curriculum in England

A consultation on proposed changes to the National Curriculum. Our response comments on proposed changes, welcomes some aspects of the curriculum, and advocates for parity with history

RCUK policy and guidance on open access

Our response expresses concern that there is insufficient evidence that promoting Gold OA will meet sustainability, access and excellence criteria.

Open Access

Our evidence submission requests 24-month embargo periods for 'green' OA, and suggests that 'green' routes may dominate humanities and social sciences without increased funding for 'gold'. We also request that CC-BY-NC-ND be the default licence standard.

 

 

Reform to Key Stage 4 Qualifications

A consultation on changes to KS4 examination. Our response advocates a common grading structure, external marking, fieldwork, and independently-run CPD for teachers

Science and Society

Our response to the follow-up consultation on "A Vision for Science and Society" by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (now Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). Our response argues that geography should be recognised more widely as a part-STEM discipline.

Proposal to merge BAS (British Antarctic Survey) and NOC (National Oceanography Centre)

A consultation on the proposed merged of BAS and NOC. Our response says there is insufficient evidence to support merging the centres

Career Guidance for Young People

We argue that the statutory requirement for careers guidance should be extended, and welcome the proposed extension of advice to Year 8 pupils

Proposals for the Reform of A Levels in England

Our response advocates for the inclusion of coursework and consistent fieldwork across each cohort. We also support comparability of demand and content in different specifications.

Review of Controlled Assessment in GCSEs

Our response notes that feedback from teachers suggests less teaching time, as well as noting "unanimous support" for fieldwork

Government alcohol strategy

Our response highlights geographies of alcohol consumption, drawing on an RGS-IBG policy conference and brief in 2010.

Education in London

Our response to this inquiry into school education in London advocates for supporting the Ebac and encouraging an understanding of geography

Consultation on careers guidance for schools, sixth form colleges and further education institutions

Our response to the DfE consultation on careers guidance provision welcomes the prospect of extending guidance to 12-12 year olds, and 16-18 year olds.

Response submitted 2012

Higher Education in STEM subjects

A call for evidence on higher education in STEM subjects, particularly the supply of students. Our response reiterates that geography is a part-STEM subject which offers

The census and social science inquiry

In evidence submitted to the Commons Science and Technology Committee, we outline how geographers use census data, and its importance to social science research and government decision-making.

Draft panel criteria and working methods (REF 2014)

Our response to the HEFCE consultation on REF2014 criteria and methods calls for greater consistency across main panel criteria and methods, and highlights omissions in descriptors for geography.

Spending Review 2010 inquiry

Our written response to the Science and Technology Committee's inquiry into spending review argued for greater recognition and support for the role of social sciences, arts and humanities in research.

Qualifications for 14 to 16 year-olds and Performance Tables

Our response, to proposed changes to qualifications for students from 14-16, agreed that most students should study an "academic core", and that issues of equivalence between academic and vocation qualifications should be addressed.

Consultation on allocation method for postgraduate research funding from 2012-13

Our response to HEFCE's consultation on proposed changes allocation methods for the research degree programme supervision fund welcomes increased funding and encourages the linkage of funding with research quality.

Demand management - Funding the best social science in the most efficient and effective way

Our response to ESRC proposals for managing research funding demand calls for a system based on individual researchers rather than institutional quotas or penalties.

Practical experiments in school science lessons and science field trips

We argue that that fieldwork should remain a compulsory part of a statutory geography curriculum and highlight the Society's activities in support of fieldwork.

Consultation on Cultural Education

Our response to this DCMS consultation argues for a broad understanding of cultural education, and encourages schools to use Learning Outside the Classroom to support this.

Green Paper on a common strategic framework for future EU research and innovation funding

Our response to the European Commission Green Paper on EU research funding advocates for embedding geographical approaches in future research goals, and the simplification of funding and performance measures

Allocation of science and research funding

We endorse the dual support approach to funding, and argue for the ringfenced AR funding consistent with geography's accepted part-STEM status.

ESRC consultation on strategic priorities

Our response argues for an international and multiscalar focus in the new strategic priorities.

National Curriculum Review

Our response calls for greater emphasis on fundamental knowledge, understanding and skills, and advocates for subject-specialist staff and later implementation of streaming into vocational or academic pathways.

Inquiry on the English Baccalaureate

Our response welcomes the inclusion of geography as an EBacc subject, and predicts that inclusion will increase uptake of geography in schools. It also highlights the role of the Society in providing professional development and implementing the Action Plan for Geography

Inquiry on the future of higher education

Our response highlights the employability of geography graduates, and the relevance of geographical skills in industry. We also call for better access to quality information on courses and careers, and funding support for teaching and research.

Policy options for geographic information from Ordnance Survey

Our response welcomes the proposed release of certain OS datasets, and argues for sustained long-term funding for OS and MasterMap.

Learning Outside the Classroom

Our written evidence advocates that fieldwork, as LOTC, should be part of every pupil’s education. We also convey feedback from teachers on changes to fieldwork provision.

Health and Safety of Learning Outside the Classroom (HASLOC)

Our response to this DfE consultation on HASLOC suggests clarifications and changes, and notes the Society's relevant experiences with BS 8848.

The Impact of Spending Cuts on Science and Scientific Research

Our response strongly states that geography should be understood as a part-STEM subject, and defends the contribution of geography to scientific research and value creation

REF2014 - Second Consultation

We convey community comments, and emphasise that geography must be recognised and assessed as a single unit, but in a way that accounts for the nature of the discipline

Building support for development

Our response to DfID's consultation draws attention to the role of the Society in building knowledge and understanding on global issues.

Response submitted 2009

 

Enhancing the impact of social research on policy

Our response offers examples of how the Society's work can support interaction between policymakers and researchers, and suggests approaches that can enable interdisciplinary cooperation.

Rose Review: Historical, Social and Geographical Understanding Programme of Learning

In our response to the programme of learning aspect of the Rose Review, we call for greater emphasis on spatial understanding, and a closer balance between human and physical geography.

Independent Rose Review of Primary Curriculum

Our response to the review of the curriculum advocates for the explicit inclusion of geography in named areas of understanding, and of geographical knowledge in the curriculum.

Diploma in Humanities and Social Science

Our response made suggestions refining some terms and definitions, and argued that specific subjects including geography could take a "coordinating role” within the implementation and teaching of topics

A vision for science and society

Our response to the initial DIUS proposals encourages greater engagement from policymakers, publics and researchers, which can be facilitated by learned societies. It also advocates for greater recognition of the breadth of 'science', the role of public engagement, and the value of policy-relevant research.

Evidence submitted to the Primary Review (Rose Review)

Our evidence submission advocates for the role of geography in education, and the timetabled provision of geography in primary schools.

Inquiry into the National Curriculum

Our response emphasises the role of geography as an independent but highly-connected discipline, and advocates for subject expertise and greater time made available in the teaching of geography.

Proposed Research Excellence Framework (2008)

Our response summarises and highlights community views on the proposals for REF, conveying support for dual funding, non-STEM mode of assessment, and discipline-based peer-review. This response refers to what ultimately became REF2014.

NERC strategy (2007)

Our response emphasises the need to support hydrology/water science, responsive mode research and international collaboration. It also requests clarity around how "environmental" themes will be integrated in projects.

Large facilities roadmap 2007

Our response stresses the importance to the social sciences of investment and development towards data collection, management and analysis facilities.

Draft Geography KS3 National Curriculum

Our response welcomes the proposed greater flexibility for teachers in choosing case studies, and the inclusion of fieldwork and GIS in geographical education.

Draft GCSE Subject Criteria for Geography

Our response expresses concerns about overlap between the KS3 programme and A Level/GCSE criteria, especially where KS3 requirements are more demanding. It also advocates for a broader approach to fieldwork assessment.

Consultation on postgraduate funding

Our response calls for AHRC recognition of geography in interdisciplinary or non-humanities units, and evaluates how several funding proposals might affect geography researchers

Education Outside the Classroom Manifesto

Our response to the DfE notes that geography is not mentioned in the consultation document, despite at the time being the only subject with statutory reference to the provision of fieldwork in school. It also advocates for substantive commitments to fieldwork.

1+3 model for postgraduate funding

Our response evaluates the 1+3 model in general, and highlights inflexible quota allocations and limited options for quantitative training as discipline-specific issues.

Reform of higher education research assessment and funding

Our response to this Department for Education and Skills (now-DfE) consultation evaluates the meaning and role of metrics in RAE2008 assessments