This paper considers influences on the contemporary school curriculum in England. It does so mainly through a critical analysis of one significant critique of the curriculum made by the think tank Civitas in their collection of essays asserting the 'corruption' of the curriculum, published in 2007. The paper places the Civitas position in a wider perspective. It then focuses on one subject critique in particular – geography – drawing from a wider selection of writings which attempt to show the distortion of school geography under pressure from 'good causes' such as global citizenship and sustainable development. The main conclusions of the paper are that whilst the Civitas position takes a rather restricted view of subjects which denies how the discipline has developed in recent years, there is nevertheless an important point for teachers, as curriculum-makers, to note. However, the role of the subject disciplines in the school curriculum continues to evolve. The disciplines, not least geography, are far less static than the Civitas position appears to suggest.