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Good report is result of old school values

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It was good to read such a balanced appraisal of Edward Cullinan Architects' Millennium Primary School at Greenwich (AJ 27.2.03).

Such a fast-track project was only realised because there already existed within the (then) Architects & Building Branch of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), and Ofsted, a wealth of knowledge, based on first-hand experience of best practice in both education and design.

Patrick Hannay was right to remind readers of the fine CLASP tradition of humane school architecture, but more pertinent and recent precedents can be found in the A&B Branch live projects - from early years through to adult, community and multi-agency use - which prefigured many of the educational and related design issues now receiving welcome (and overdue) public attention.

Though not always publicised, and perhaps less eye-catching than recent schools in the news, they were often at least as innovative and continue to demonstrate their validity.

Finally, it is misleading to have named me alone as representing the DfES. In advising on the educational brief and design, I benefited enormously from the expert support of my colleagues (several of whom I am glad to continue working with in the independent design consultancy for education, Effective Learning Environments).

Robin Bishop, Director, Effective Learning Environments

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