charlotte-church

Charlotte Church under investigation amid claims she's illegally running school classes at home

Charlotte recently revealed plans to open a school at her home

Jenni McKnight

Charlotte Church has only just revealed plans to open her own school at her home in Wales – but before she can even begin work on the project, she has found herself at the centre of an investigation. The singer is facing a probe into her plans by Vale of Glamorgan Council after they received complaints that she is already running a school in her house without permission. But Charlotte has denied the claims and insisted she is operating legally.

She admitted that a part-time home school tutoring group is currently using the annex in her home for less than 12.5 hours per week, which she says is approved by school inspectorate Estyn and the Welsh Government. "As far as I'm concerned I'm not aware of any breach of planning," she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service. "If the council want to look at what we're doing we will welcome them with open arms. If there are any problems we will be completely compliant. This is a charity venture."

Charlotte wants to open her own school

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A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: "The council is currently considering an application for a change of use relating to a building at this address. We have also launched an enforcement investigation after receiving a number of complaints suggesting the use has started prior to planning permission. We will decide whether any formal action is necessary in due course."

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If Charlotte's school gets the green light, 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".

The 33-year-old 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".

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