Titan schools will be like cheap high-rise housing, independent head warns

The TES is reporting that claims from a private school leader that the rush to create large “titan” schools is “misguided” and comparable with the post-war boom in cheap high-rise housing.

Dr Sarah Welch, the new chair of the Independent Schools Association, said she failed to see how educating pupils in these “vast schools” could be to the benefit of individual children…

In her first interview since becoming chair of the ISA – which represents around 370 private schools – Dr Welch said: “Let me make an analogy: back in the 1950s and 1960s there was a population boom and we built lots of very tall tower blocks around the place and now we are knocking them down.

“I think there has to be a very thoughtful approach to anything to do with education. It’s not simply, ‘We’ve got more children coming through the system so therefore we make the schools bigger to accommodate them’.

“I think there’s a much larger debate there and a lot of future planning that needs to go ahead. We need to look beyond how we get through this rise in a primary school population by just slapping on extra classrooms. I do think it’s got to be thought through a lot better.

“[Titan schools ] are misguided. I would question the reasons why it’s happening – why is it being done? I think this is financially driven, it’s to do with budgets and economies of scale but we are not talking about manufacturing industry, we are talking about education…”

More at: Titan schools will be like cheap high-rise housing, independent head warns


Fair comments from Dr Welch or is she failing to appreciate the urgent need to provide massive numbers of extra school places?

Presumably the only alternative to titan schools is more new schools which in turn are often going to be a substantial challenge as available sites with appropriate planning in the right areas are no doubt going to be in very short supply (and potentially very expensive).

Your reactions? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


High rise schools - an acceptable way to create enough school places?


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Categories: Policy.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Dr Welch’s absolutely right when she says that “Titan” schls more about saving £ than producing best provision for children

  2. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove-They are worried about teenage mental health on one hand & wittering about titan schools on other! ££ /lack of is the reason

  3. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove Titan schools are not a good ever …unless we are intent on the unchanging factory management model that still prevails…

  4. peterabarnard

    Dai_James1942 SchoolsImprove Systems produce behaviour. Me, I’d decline even faster without a garden or immediate outside access..

  5. pmonfort

    peterabarnard SchoolsImprove the buildings would need to be designed to support the system. Good teaching is built on relationships.

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