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…”
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).
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