Charlotte Church is turning her Welsh home into a school for 20 children – and she will be the music teacher! A planning application has been submitted for the project at the star's Dinas Powys house. If approved, the facility will be set up within a two-storey annex of her home until a more permanent site is found. The school will be non-fee-paying for pupils between nine and 12, and Charlotte has said she will fund the first year herself. The singer, who home-schools her own children, Ruby, 11, and 10-year-old Dexter, has spoken about her decision to open the facility, saying mainstream education was "struggling" with under-funding and overcrowding.
"Since I've had kids, I have become much more interested in education and child development," she said. "We started looking at different options available to us. It became apparent that mainstream is struggling with underfunding and overcrowding – teachers are incredibly tested. It's not their fault the way things are – the system is not working."
Charlotte Church pictured with her husband, Jonny Powell
The idea is part of The Awen Project, which Charlotte set up and hopes will grow into a charity to set up other independent schools. She has spent the past 18 months visiting schools across the UK. "We are trying to create something really based on all the evidence – everything we know about how humans learn best, at what stage do children's brains develop to take in different types of information," she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service. "We see a lot of people feeling completely disengaged or don’t feel that they have a voice, or that their voice matters."
MORE: Charlotte Church secretly marries boyfriend Jonathan Powell!
Charlotte, 33, said her project would be separate from mainstream schools, but would "have the freedom to implement education at its most creative form". Pupils would study for qualifications such as GCSEs but the star said the school would "still have lots of creative freedom". She added: "I totally believe in the transformation of the whole education system and I think it's possible. I want to play an active part in making that change. How are we supposed to be creating a new society if all we're doing is imposing on children what we say is important? Just because they are younger than us they still have a voice in society and a right to be listened to."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.