Designers attack remarks by education secretary Michael Gove

Designers have rounded on education secretary Michael Gove for using a Queen's Speech debate to attack fees paid for the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative.

Gove suggested on 2 June that funding was inefficient for a programme that has drawn both praise and criticism for standards of architecture and landscape design.

The MP, a vocal critic of BSF, has previously suggested architects "cream" off fat fees from the biggest ever schools building investment scheme, launched by Labour.

RIBA President Ruth Reed said: "Intelligent use of space can foster different ways of learning and directly affect behaviour and attainment.

"This is not to say Building Schools for the Future has not wasted money; the method for procuring the buildings is inefficient and takes too long."

Losing contractors wasted many millions of pounds per failed bid, she said.

"We appreciate the new coalition has a different approach to schools and we are operating under financially constrained time.

"But purporting a myth that architects were part of the problem is missing the real point - architects have made a key contribution towards making schools a better environment."

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