Geography, a subject fit for a king

10th December 2010 at 00:00

Prince Andrew's comments from WikiLeaks were a joy to read and highlighted publicly what we had always known: geography is the hidden gem of the curriculum, supported by creative and innovative practitioners ("The Week", December 3).

But I take exception to the comment that we are "much-maligned". We have taken our fair share of bad publicity - who can forget Ofsted's pronouncement that most geography lessons were irrelevant and boring?

But since the action plan for geography, supported by the Geographical Association and Royal Geographical Society, and freed from a previously content-driven curriculum, we have been at the forefront of curriculum innovation.

Despite being non-compulsory, 230,000 pupils studied geography at GCSE last year. It is still in the top ten of subject choices. We feel uneasy at the notion of compulsory study post-14, but we will watch with interest whether the proposed English Baccalaureate will level the curriculum playing field, encouraging schools to offer geography where it has ceased to exist.

We were cheered by the announcement that our future king, a geographer, was to marry, but also by a recent report by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit that highlighted that, despite the economic climate, geography graduates were more employable than their counterparts.

We would be grateful if the media recognised, and reported, that geography is changing. In geography we talk about futures; one of those futures is bright.

Tony Cassidy, Geography teacher, Kirk Hallam Community Technology and Sports College, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

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