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Pudsey: Home education fair brings families together to offer support and highlight services

pudsey house
Venue: Pudsey House. Copyright Betty Longbottom and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

by John Baron

Parents in West Leeds who are home educating their children are being invited to a home education fair in Pudsey to connect them to services and products which can support them.

The fair is the idea of Pudsey mum and teacher Kate Frazer, who founded her own home educating business – Schoolz At Home – during the Coronavirus lockdown.

“Many families think they are isolated and have no network of support but it is not true, there is so much out there for families that are home educating,” said Kate.

“This event will show families what is on offer for them and also offer guidance and advice. We’ll have everyone there, including youth mental health support, and we also welcome families who are curious about home educating.”

Kate says home educating families are a diverse bunch ranging from children who are unwell or neuro diverse to children who under achieve in school – Kate has also taught child actors who move around the country.

“A lot of people have preconceived ideas about home education,” she said. “Some just think you can’t be bothered to send them to school, or whatever, but it’s not the case. Home schooling is huge is Australia, Canada and New Zealand and is increasing in popularity here, too.”

In 2023 it was estimated that there were between 125,000 and 180,000 children across the UK being home educated, and numbers are rising annually.

Kate set up Schoolz At Home during the pandemic after home educating and supporting her own daughter during lockdown. It originally started as a Facebook page signposting parents to useful resources and activities, but soon grew into something much more. Kate also runs online classes and activities, including a class where children set up their own businesses and take part in Dragon’s Den-style activities.

In addition, she runs a group every Tuesday called Home Ed Club, after finding there was nowhere in West Leeds for home schools students aged seven upwards to meet up, take part in activities and gain confidence. The hub has been running for three years and meets at Pudsey House every Tuesday, from 10am-12pm.

“We have created a safe open space for children in the Leeds area to come and socialise, and integrate themselves back into an environment with other children,” said Kate, who is looking to restart more online activities for home schoolers soon.

More details on Schoolz At Home can be found here.

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