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We're going off the map

GEOGRAPHERS have warned of a major environmental disaster - the restructuring of promoted posts in secondary.

Jack Bairner, president of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers, last week told an association conference, uniquely co-organised with HMI, that their subject could be significantly weakened as the ranks of senior promoted staff diminish.

Mr Bairner, principal teacher at Bannockburn High, Stirling, said the major change had gathered momentum over the past three to four months. "It's a change we seem powerless to influence, a change which in my view will do precisely nothing to improve learning and teaching in most schools and, moreover, a change for which the educational case has not been made," he said.

Geography was under threat on a number of fronts, including the increased power of headteachers over the curriculum, the demise of the advisory service in most local authorities and the lack of subject specialists in Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Inspectors meanwhile outlined the generally positive report on secondary geography teaching between 1995 and 2001.

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