Going it alone is an education for former Blackpool teacher

Phil Seddon
Phil Seddon
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An ex-teacher has set up his own tuition business in order to keep working despite difficult family circumstances.

For Phil Seddon, personal circumstances led to a big decision to leave a secure job that he loved to become self-employed.

Having spent over 10 years teaching and caring for severely disabled young people, Phil needed to make a change.

Circumstances in his own life changed dramatically when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2014.

Taking the necessary time out of his job to care for his wife wasn’t really feasible, so Phil made a life changing decision to shift from being an employee to being self-employed.

A little wary at first Phil decided to make some enquiries, conduct a little research and then jumped feet first into a new career.

With guidance from Blackpool Council’s Get Started service, Phil soon found his own niche in the world of private academic course writing, training and tuition.

Phil said it had been a great experience meeting educators and finding out what training requirements they needed to address, then designing practical training that enables them to cater for any new and existing areas of demand. He said: “I have really enjoyed seeing positive results and get great feedback from the people I’ve worked with so far.

“The change of career from specialist teaching within an established school to self-employed, selling my own skills has been a little scary at times – wondering whether people will really want to buy the specialist service I offer. I have been pleased with the results so far and I know this venture will go from strength to strength.”

As of October 2015 – a year on from the diagnosis – Phil’s wife has made a full recovery from the cancer.

He adds: “It’s great being there for my wife when she needs me, and the best thing with being self-employed is the flexibility to arrange work around family and not the other way round!

“I have a growing number of clients both for academic course writing and for private tuition, mostly in English.

“Seddon Academic Services is really taking off.”

Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for Business and Economic Development, said: “As Phil has shown, there are a number of reasons to start your own business, whether that is a desire to become your own boss or the flexibility for you to look after your family – whatever the reason we are here to help.”