Subject association is a long way from being short-handed

12th December 2008 at 00:00

With regard to your article "Subject bodies struggling to attract members" (TES, December 5), the Geographical Association is alive and kicking out here in the sticks in Shropshire.

Our monthly lectures attract an audience of 100 or more, composed of teachers, A-level and GCSE pupils, parents who come out of interest, and other members of the public. We have attracted eminent lecturers in various fields and from a range of universities, from Oxford to Chester.

We have nearly 30 schools signed up as members, most of them group members of the Geographical Association, and many individual members. We work closely with local media to publicise events.

Recently, our annual Worldwise Quiz for Year 10 pupils was heavily oversubscribed: 14 teams attended.

The further erosion of geography's place in the primary curriculum will do little for membership, although perhaps the Government could do more for the subject associations by requiring teachers to be members - just as they must be members of the General Teaching Council. This could be subsidised, or even free, if the Government wants to push their role.

I find my association's annual conference is the most useful continuing professional development I do. I get to meet old friends and colleagues, catch up on new ideas, see the latest technology, and network.

Rob Morris, Geography faculty of Shrewsbury School and chairman, Shropshire branch of the Geographical Association.

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