A Southend News Network investigation has found that local education chiefs are considering scrapping all formal music teaching, both class-based and one-on-one, in favour of extensive sessions that prepare children for a lifetime of trying to appear on The X-Factor. It appears that this idea has been floating around HQ for a while now, but the recent success of Ché Chesterman and Louisa Johnson has accelerated the decision-making process.

We asked Southend education supremo Eric Perry for an explanation, and he agreed to meet with a Southend News Network reporter. He said ‘It is clear that in 2015, there is no longer an appetite for children to pick up a musical instrument and actually spend more than seven seconds trying to figure out how to get a tune out of it. Taking an ocarina as an example, some of these can cost almost £3.50, and this money could be better spent towards a train ticket to whatever god-forsaken convention centre that ITV talent show bosses have chosen to herd thousands of attention-seeking idiots into.’

He added, ‘What sort of right-minded parent would actually want their children to sit down with a specialist classical instrument teacher for 20 minutes a week over a period of a few years? We have even heard about some children missing their break time or an assembly about stranger danger just so they can move one step closer to their grade 2 clarinet exam and something that will actually look impressive on a CV – this is utter madness and something needs to change.’

We asked Mr Perry for more details about the new planned ‘music’ curriculum. He said, ‘From Reception age to Year 11, all pupils will spend a considerable amount of time learning how to lip-sync to Lady Gaga tracks. In addition to this, we will make sure that every Southend child is universally aware about the power of a tragic back story, and the way that it can be used to convince soulless members of the entertainment industry to exploit you for commercial gain until you are a burnt out shell. Current music teachers in the area will undergo extensive retraining to ensure that they will all have long-term career prospects in X-Factor Prep teaching, or not – whatever’s cheaper really.’

It also appears that there will be extra-curricular provision to provide children with these lessons, with an elite X-Factor Prep Academy opening on Saturday mornings, along with regular organised ensembles and orchestras made up solely of pupils who can look good and move around while something resembling music is played over a PA system.