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Kent school breaks RIBA validation record

Kent School of Architecture has been given the fastest RIBA validation for a school in history, despite the unrest it has caused with its rival in Canterbury.

The validation confirms the new school's Part 1 and Part 2 programmes will be RIBA accredited and all its architecture awards have received prescription form the ARB.

Professor and head of school Don Gray said: 'We are absolutely delighted to have received our validation so quickly.

'This means that all our final year students for 2006 have graduated with the benefit of RIBA Part 1 and Part 2, and are now able to present their proven credentials in a global marketplace.

'All in all this has been a joyful and eventful year for staff and students in the school. I am now looking forward to developing relationship with architecture and regeneration in the region, focusing on our role as a provocative and stimulating school which can challenge conventional design thinking,' he added.

But the news will further sour relations between the school and Canterbury's own school of architecture, where a battle has raged ever since Kent school's inception.

The conflict started when Gray, then head of Canterbury's architecture department, decided to walk out on his former employers and set up a rival school. Canterbury started a £300,000 legal suit against Gray, citing trespass, conspiracy, breach of contract and deliberate attempts to poach staff. The suit was later dropped.

by Richard Vaughan

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