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Governess Or Tutor   Which To Hire
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Governess or tutor - which to hire

  • Publish Date: Posted over 6 years ago
  • Author:by Collette Negre

​An increasing number of families are employing governesses and tutors to provide extra educational support to assist their children in achieving their maximum educational potential. Tutors and governesses offer varying forms of educational support but are quite different in their approach, although both are excellent ways to enhance a child’s learning.

However, the question will always be which is best? Well, we hope to help answer this question by looking at both roles in more depth and, by comparing their differences, help you to decide which is more suitable to meeting your family’s needs.

The role of a governess

Governesses has been around for centuries and the role has influenced several famous fictional heroines, with both Anne and Charlotte Brontë using their own experiences as governesses in their writings. Historically, life as a governess was certainly not an easy one; pay was low, the role isolating and living conditions tough. Traditionally employed to teach the three Rs’ (reading, writing and arithmetic) to their young charges, as the children grew older they would teach the additional subjects of history, geography, creative arts and French. The areas of elocution, deportment, etiquette and manners were also of equal importance.

Although the role of the governess is now highly varied, primarily they are still employed to oversee the child’s education and development and will usually be employed when the child no longer requires a nanny to look after their personal and physical needs. Although in some households a governess will be employed alongside an existing nanny.

The role of a governess is different than that of a tutor in that for a governess the family will normally employ them on a live-in and permanent basis, working 6 - 10 hours a day, 5 - 6 days a week and they will receive a salary for their agreed hours.

Today, a governess is likely to come from a teaching background and/or have experience of teaching English internationally. Being bilingual and having the ability to play a musical instrument is also often an essential requirement. Click here to see some of our Governess Candidates 

The role of a tutor

Although the tutoring role hasn’t been around as long as that of a governess, in many ways it offers the same one-to-one educational support that allows a child to build a rapport and trust.

A tutor is a qualified and experienced person who will come to your home, or have your child visit theirs, to further enhance your child’s education through one-to-one tutoring. Tutoring is generally provided for between 1 - 4 hours a week and is definitely more family budget friendly than hiring a governess. A tutor will assess a child’s needs and develop an individual educational plan based on the support that child individually needs. Tutors usually work on a self-employed and temporary basis and will generally specialise in one subject area. More short-term exam and revision support is often offered and is considered highly valuable.

So, which should you choose?

Well, put simply there is not one simple answer; although there is a clear difference in the amount of support each role can offer your family. However, both can offer an individual, tailored approach which can only aid comprehension and learning.

This allows a child to progress at their own pace without having to keep up with their classmates in a group setting.

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