Michael Gove in new attack on 'award-winning architects'
Secretary of State for Education again uses public platform to accuse profession of getting rich at public expense
Secretary of state for education Michael Gove has launched a new attack on “award-winning architects”, singling out Richard Rogers by name.
Having twice already enraged the profession by claiming those working on the BSF programme were “creaming off cash”, Gove suggested that no-one involved in setting up free schools were there to “make architects richer”.
Following a Q&A session at a Free Schools conference on Saturday he said: “We won’t be getting Richard Rogers to design your school, we won’t be getting any ‘Award winning architects’ to design it, because no-one in this room is here to make architects richer.”
Pascale Scheurer, director at Surface to Air Architects attended the conference because she is setting up a free school as a parent in Hackney.
She said she took exception to the minister’s comments.
“On education I agree with him but why is he insulting architects?” she asked, adding that Gove had “put his hands to his face” in surprise when she’d later told him she is an architect.
RIBA president Ruth Reed said: “Architects have an essential role to play in improving our school estate, whether this is through the design of new buildings or leading refurbishment projects. Good design is conducive to a better learning environment, and architects have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to deliver this.”
“Some school projects delivered in recent years have wasted too much time and money due to an extraordinarily inefficient procurement system. Good school design certainly costs no more – and in the long term is almost always cheaper - than designing poor, inappropriate or ineffective school buildings. Achieving the best learning environment requires an informed and involved client and the right architect for the job.”
“We will continue to call on Michael Gove and the government to recognise the importance of good design in schools and elsewhere and the vital role for architects in delivering that.”
Richard Rogers was unavailable to comment.