The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) today broadly welcomed the government's response to the James Review of Education Capital, however urged caution over the proposed programme of schools standardisation.
In response to the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove's announcement today, RIBA President Ruth Reed said:
'We support the broad thrust of the approach outlined in the government's response to the James Review. The procurement methods used for the Bulding Schools for the Future (BSF) programme were deeply and fundamentally flawed and the RIBA has consistently argued for reform. The desire to increase efficiency and reduce the complexity in procurement, to focus on creating a more intelligent public client and to ensure that good practice is captured and shared are all aspirations we welcome and agree with; good design only delivers a solution within cost.
However, we remain concerned about the emphasis being placed on standardisation. As previously asserted, there is certainly a case for the standardisation of some school buildings, however the schools estate is highly complex and requires a variety of responses. Architects have an important role to play in the future design of standardised buildings; we look forward to working with both government and the profession to ensure that the most appropriate solutions are found.
We will be responding in detail to some of the questions posed in the consultation in due course.'