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Shower of asteroids slams into 'Planet Hyett'

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'Planet Hyett' is indeed a marvellous place, where the rule of law means little, should it conflict with one's own view or interests. Paul Hyett's article (AJ 24.6.99) is titled with his thoughts that 'Tony Blair and the riba should be at one on education'. What a nice thought; however, the 1997 Act places the responsibility for validating schools of architecture entirely with the arb, quite correctly distancing the professional body and the regulator - one may question why, then, Mr Blair should concern himself with 'being at one' with the riba in relation to anything!

Hyett continues that many schools around the world seek riba validation for their premier schools and, against this, he contends that it is inexplicable that the riba involvement in the validation of uk schools is under threat - under threat, it has been conceded, quite correctly, to the arb. Dear Mr Hyett: on your planet, society has not moved on from the good old days when one didn't question professionals. The riba may indeed have a long history of validation within the uk, but Parliament has decided that the professional body should no longer be concerned with this process. Society now demands nothing less.

Schools outside the uk may indeed continue to seek riba validation, but this may not continue. We are not in the glory days of the empire, when the British knew best and told everyone else how to conduct themselves. The world has moved on and so should Mr Hyett. It is not the 'ambition' of the arb to deal solely with uk validation, but something required under the Act.

Nicholas Williamson

London EC4

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