Tilda Swinton has hit out at the Harry Potter films for “romanticising” boarding schools, which she says are “cruel”.

In an interview with The Scots Magazine the actress, who attended the West Heath Girls' School, said she believes children do not benefit from being separated from their parents at a young age.

Tilda SwintonTilda Swinton thinks Harry Potter romanticises boarding schools

“I think they are a very cruel setting in which to grow up and I don't feel children benefit from that type of education,” she told the magazine.

“Children need their parents. That's why I dislike films like Harry Potter, which tend to romanticise such places.”

When Swinton attended the exclusive West Heath boarding school her classmates included the young Princess Diana.

More: Tilda Swinton Thinks Doctor Strange Transcends Fear And Ego

“I grew up under privileged circumstances and was expected to marry a duke,” she continued. “I spent a lot of time and energy making certain that I would not find myself living a life that had been preordained for me.”

In 2013 Swinton co-founded Drumduan Upper School, a liberal independent school in Nairn, Scotland. The school, which her two children Xavier and Honor attended, has no exams and focuses more on practical classes.

More: Tilda Swinton Addresses 'Doctor Strange' Casting Controversy

Describing the school to the Observer in 2015, Swinton said: “There’s no grading, no testing at all.”

“My children are now 17, and they will go through this school without any tests at any time, so it’s incredibly art-based, practical learning.

“For example, they learn their science by building a Canadian canoe, or making a knife, or caramelising onions. And they’re all happy 17-year-olds,” she added. “I can’t believe it – happy and inspired.”