[Ministers will this week launch a £40 million campaign to back daily singing in primary schools to boost pupils' "confidence and social skills." ]
UK,DEC 21(Telegraph) - Jamelia, the award-winning singer, will promote the government drive, to be unveiled tomorrow, to let children "find their voice". Ministers are keen to recruit help from the "wider school workforce" to help teachers encourage singing, including dinner ladies, caretakers and lollipop ladies. They will be encouraged to act as team leaders in singing projects.
The "Sing Up" programme has received £40 million funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to promote singing in primary schools until 2011.
A government source said: "We want to see daily singing in all primary schools to build up children's confidence and social skills. It encourages self-expression and is a useful educational tool. It can also help pupils' memory and ability to listen."
Attempts to get primary school children to sing for at least five minutes every day have proved difficult in the past.
Earlier this year, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that attempts to produce a national songbook for schools were scrapped after experts could not agree which songs to include.
Ministers originally wanted a definitive list of 30 songs that every 11 year-old should know. However, the plan was rejected as too "culturally imperialist'' in favour of a "national song bank'' containing 600 songs.
These include an eclectic mix of traditional British favourites, modern classics and songs from other countries, including Namibia, Albania and China. (By Patrick Hennessy)