Home Education Forums (incorporating the Home Education Business Directory and Home Ed Biz Network) is a social enterprise founded in 2009 with support from Unltd. It aims to benefit home educating parents and home educated children and young people, while simultaneously securing sufficient revenue and sponsorship to make it viable as a business in its own right.
The HEF portal helps home educators connect and network, encourages the pooling of resources, experience and expertise, nurtures home-edupreneurship and facilitates preferential trading between members and supporters in order to benefit our niche community and the wider home education economy. In addition, it offers consultancy services to other organisations.
Image credit: McIntosh Photography
“What a magnificent idea the Home Edupreneurs Business Directory and Forums are! In a most straightforward way, they will add grand value to everyone who uses them – and eventually to the entire community. Three cheers for Home Ed Biz!” ~ John Taylor Gatto (2008)
The project, which earned the endorsement of John Taylor Gatto, pictured above, is underpinned by the belief that educating your own children and running your own business present similar challenges which are most easily overcome with support from others in the same ‘community of interest’. Both are serious but immensely satisfying undertakings which require liberal helpings of imagination, enthusiasm, vision, commitment, resourcefulness, energy, passion and drive. As independent thinkers and doers, home educators and entrepreneurs alike often find themselves swimming against the tide of conventionality, and both invariably fare better with minimal state interference and regulation and maximum exposure to the wealth of knowledge and expertise which exists within their own trusted networks.
Home Education Forums was founded by Alison Preuss, whose own direct involvement in home education spans more than 20 years. Finding little support during her own family’s early home educating experience in Scotland, she co-founded the national Scottish charity Schoolhouse in 1996 and the children’s rights organisation ARCH in 2001. She is a former trustee of the Centre for Personalised Education Trust and former director of Tayside Re-Users, a Dundee based environmental and educational SCIO.
Alison has previously set up and run a number of small businesses to fit around home ed family life, ranging from catering to language services and freelance writing. She worked for seven years as a researcher for two Members of the Scottish Parliament prior to opening an online shop in 2007 and founding Home Ed Forums in 2009 (just in time to help field the Badman assault on home education in England!) Since 2012, she has undertaken consultancy work for a number of organisations with an interest in home learning and undertakes occasional speaking engagements.
A team of experienced, well networked home educators from across the UK helps to manage the site and contributes to its ongoing development. We hope it will continue to grow as an invaluable independent resource for home educating families, home-edupreneurs and all those who have a personal or professional interest in home education in the UK.