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London schools join forces to combat resource drought

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Three of London's architecture schools are set to form a 'federation' that will allow staff and students to share teaching and studio resources.

The schools of Westminster (pictured above), South Bank and London Metropolitan developed the proposal to alleviate drastic financial shortages. Education bosses believe it will allow schools to avoid the national trend of architectural education being merged into other built-environment departments.

At first the alliance will be limited to the three schools, although the organisers have not ruled out both the Bartlett and the Architectural Association joining at a later stage.

The South Bank's head of school, Kit Allsop, told the AJ that the move 'has been under discussion for quite some time but has now gained a new urgency'.

'There are so many schools in the capital that we have concluded that this alliance will be in everyone's interest, ' he said. 'The federation is all to do with resources. There are many that teach at different schools and there is already a lot of crossover.

'It will start with a series of collaborative ventures that will be fairly casual, ' Allsop added. 'But I am sure it will become something more formal.'

The RIBA welcomed the idea. 'It would be a good opportunity for students in different schools to learn from one another, ' it said. 'If it is a workable proposition then it will be good for cross-fertilisation.'

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