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RIBA wins Commons hearing to improve school architecture

The RIBA has secured a hearing with the House of Commons Education Select Committee to argue for a commitment to good architecture within schools. It is the first time the institute has won the right to speak at such a meeting.

The RIBA delegates, president Paul Hyett and chief executive Richard Hastilow, will tell the committee there should be more impetus put on the standard of design of schools. And they will argue that the built environment in education has a significant impact on levels of achievement by pupils.

Hyett and Hastilow hope the outcome of this 'oral submission' - due for early autumn - will be a full inquiry by the committee into the effect of building design on standards in education.

They will also take the opportunity to argue for more design in the national curriculum in order to enthuse young people in the design process and increase intake of architecture courses.

The hearing was first mooted when Paul Hyett took Barry Sheerman MP, chair of the committee, on a walkabout in the City of London in April (AJ 25.4.02). The guided tour of exemplary modern architecture, an effort to demonstrate the successes of the British profession, followed the MP's controversial comment that 'all architects ought to be shot' .

The RIBA's head of government relations, Jonathan Labrey, said he was 'delighted' about the breakthrough: 'We are really pleased to have the opportunity to get out argument to decisionmakers in the House of Commons.'

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