Governesses / Governors

The modern Governess has found increasing favour recently with wealthy families wanting to make sure that their children’s education does not suffer while they’re travelling or for other reasons, such as classroom closures or isolating.

What does a Governess do?

Once the stern figure on Victorian England, a Governess today is a far more appealing image. While they are similar to a Tutor, a Governess will usually be expected to offer a full educational programme for a child or children. All subjects will be covered and lessons planned around the varying curriculums that a child is following. Plus they might offer additional tutoring or homework support where needed.

Although the main focus will be on learning, Governesses will be responsible not just for supporting a child’s education but also wider mentoring, cultural and play activities outside school hours. They will nurture their children’s social and life skills, etiquette and cultural understanding; creating a holistic approach to education as a school might. However, other caring duties such as preparing food, children’s laundry or extra-curricular events might fall on a Nanny instead.

One of the great benefits of having a Governess is that where ever you are in the world, your child will have consistent education. So although the job might be live out or live in, it is likely that a Governess will be expected to travel.

Tasks might include:

  • General educational development
  • Providing daily lessons
  • Support with homework
  • Practicing manners and etiquette
  • Liaising with schools
  • After school activities – including sports.
  • Helping organise the child's room
  • Reporting back to parents to ensure the children are developing

What is the difference between a Tutor and a Governess?

Where a Tutor might be hired to fill in gaps in learning or help with homework, a Governess provides a timetabled programme covering all subjects and creating a mock school experience. However, with the Pandemic and lockdown, Governesses have also been used on a part-time basis to help children navigate online lessons too.

What skills do Governesses need?

A Governess will be expected to have a teaching qualification and several years’ experience in education. They will need to be good with children and be a team player as it’s likely they’ll be working with other members of staff. Fluency in two or more languages is also very desirable – particularly, French, Russian, Spanish and Mandarin. It will also be important to have a good understanding of various curriculums from the British education system to the Lycée and other international variants. As well as this they will need to have an understanding of exam techniques and entrance exams.

How much to Governesses earn?

In the UK, a Governess can expect to earn between £700-£1000 a week or from £50,000 a year.
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