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Gove out: controversial minister loses Department for Education brief

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Michael Gove has been moved from his role as education secretary in David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle

One of the most controversial education secretaries of modern times, not least among architects who he blamed for wasting taxpayers’ money on the BSF programme, Gove has been appointed Conservative chief whip in the Commons as successor to George Young.

A simple statement on the prime minister’s 10 Downing Street website confirmed the move, and subsequently added that Nicky Morgan would become the new education secretary.

Morgan’s husband is architect Jonathan Morgan, who is a consultant at Archial Architects.

The surprise switch comes just one week after AJ revealed that Gove’s Department for Education had selected BDP to redevelop Whitehall’s Old Admiralty Building as its new home – despite having sued the practice for £3 million in connection with its structural and service engineer role on the Stirling Prize-nominated Westminster Academy.

Just weeks after his appointment as education secretary in 2010, Gove courted anger by cancelling a host of bespoke schools scheduled for constructed under the previous government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, ushering in a lengthy High Court challenge process spearheaded by a group of angry local authorities.

At the time, RIBA president Ruth Reid called the move ‘profoundly detrimental’.

Gove subsequently set up a the James Review of Education Capital, which was designed to look at the potential for the potential to deliver standardised schools more cheaply than BSF.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • What great news! One can only hope that a more thoughtful, educated and sensible individual will repair the damage done to the architectural landscape. Gove's time in this post exemplifies why a person whom understands their role is so important.

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