Dec 10

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Versus Tutoring

An education is one of the most valuable things a person can have, and everyone in the UK is entitled to free schooling up until the age of 18. Teachers are an invaluable resource for learning, but sometimes the one-on-one style of a tutor can be more beneficial for students.

While many people think that teachers and tutors are the same, there are some distinct differences. In this post, we’ll take a look at those differences in more detail.

Why Might Someone Need a Tutor?

There are several reasons why someone might need a tutor. Maybe they’re struggling in school and need some extra help, or perhaps they want to get ahead and need an edge on their competition.

Teachers have stressful jobs, and sometimes they can’t provide each student with the attention they need to succeed in their studies. An article from Politics says that there are 26 children per primary class and 23 per secondary class, highlighting the demand teachers face.

When a student needs more support, a tutor is an excellent resource because they can work with that person on a one to one basis and offer a more bespoke learning experience.

Let’s take a look at the main differences between tutors and teachers.


Teachers of all levels must have the relevant qualifications to gain employment. A degree in your chosen subject is usually necessary, and of course, there are specific requirements for teachers at different levels.

At the secondary level, it’s common to have a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education), while primary school teachers tend to get their degrees first before training.

Tutors don’t necessarily need qualifications like this, but they need a deep understanding of the subject they’re teaching. However, if a tutor wants to focus on more academic subjects, any reputable tuition provider will ensure they have relevant qualifications.

For example, at Fleet Tutors, our applicants undergo a strict recruitment process and must have a minimum of a Qualified Teacher Status or an honours degree in their related subject.


Teachers must follow a set curriculum, which the government often determines. They must make sure they cover all of the required topics and stick to the school’s policies and procedures.

Tutors don’t have to follow a set curriculum. In fact, they can often tailor their lessons specifically to the student’s needs. If a student struggles with a specific theory or subject, such as fractions, the tutor can focus solely on this area.

While teachers have some flexibility, they have to think about the needs of their entire class, which can often mean that some students get left behind.

As tutors can dedicate themselves to one student or a small group of learners, they can offer more intensive support.

Lesson Delivery

People learn in different ways, and what works for someone might have no effect on another. Because of this, teachers often need to be skilled in a range of teaching styles.

Tutors don’t follow the same strict rules; they can use different methods and adapt their lessons if needed. For example, while some students benefit from visual demonstrations, others will learn better through listening or reading materials. If one lesson style isn’t working, the tutor can quickly change their approach.
This flexibility is one of the main benefits of having a tutor; they can find what works best for the student and help them to improve more rapidly.

Teaching Times

The average school day begins at 08:30 am and ends at 3:30 pm in the UK, and teachers work 37 hours per week in term time.

Tutors can set their working times; they’re usually self-employed, so it’s a popular – but competitive career choice.

Private tutors might offer after school sessions or evening classes depending on what works best for them and the student.

This means that students have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling lessons, and they can often find a time that suits them without having to worry about clashes with school or other activities.

Maintaining Communication With Parents

You probably remember your parents’ evenings when you were at school. It’s the time when teachers have the opportunity to meet with parents and discuss how their child is performing.
Parent evenings are the best chance to discuss any issues in most cases. Sometimes a teacher might ask to arrange a meeting with the learner’s legal guardians – especially if there are problems with behaviour or the child is falling behind.

Tutors – however – can maintain regular contact with learners and their parents through progress reports and one to one meetings. Parents appreciate this extra support, and it means that they’ll be able to track their child’s progress regularly.

It can also be beneficial for students with behavioural issues to have regular feedback from their tutor.

Sometimes, all a learner needs is to know they have plenty of support, and while teachers are dedicated to their job and passionate about helping others learn, it can be a real challenge to give each learner the attention they need.

Can Tutors Replace Teachers?

Tutors are highly beneficial to give each learner bespoke support with their education, and they can certainly perform the same duties as teachers. However, most students continue their schooling and receive tuition to help them with subject areas they’re struggling in.

At Fleet private tutors UK, we provide expert support for learners of all ages and work with regular education providers and parents to ensure each student can grow both academically and personally.

The Bottom Line

Learning is much more than gaining a deep understanding of theories and practices; it’s about growing emotionally and developing the confidence to succeed later in life.

While teaching and tutoring share some similarities, there are also many key differences. Tutors can often provide a more bespoke and tailored learning experience, which is especially beneficial for students who need more support.

However, teachers play a vital role in the development of a child, and when both parties combine their skills and knowledge, tutors and teachers can work together to provide the best education for all children.