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RIBA brings sense to Canterbury architecture school crisis

The RIBA's education department has moved to bring an end to the brewing war between the two architecture schools in Canterbury.

The institute has announced two major decisions that should bring calm to the crisis that has been looming in the Kent city for nearly a year.

Problems first came to light when it emerged last summer that the head of the Canterbury School of Architecture, Don Gray, and most of his staff were defecting across the city to set up a new school for the University of Kent.

But now the RIBA has announced that the original school, which is affiliated to the Kent Institute of Art and Design, will retain its validation, while Gray's new school will immediately gain candidate status.

It brings to an end rumours that the RIBA was set to allow Gray to take the validation with him to his new school, a move that would have left his previous employer with serious problems.

The institute's acting head of education, Chris Ellis, said yesterday evening that 'there was no evidence that the defection of Gray and his staff would affect standards at the Canterbury school'.

'We are also confident that Don Gray's new school will be fine,' he added. 'We have set the earliest possible date to assess their graduate work.'

by Ed Dorrell

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