What Is the Difference Between a Teacher and a Tutor? 

Student marking their work

Effective teachers are incredible people. They’re role models, opening a world of possibilities for their students and shaping their personal and professional futures. Without teachers, there would be no students, and without students, there would be no growth. Despite what you may think, teachers aren’t confined to sitting in classrooms and prowling playgrounds. They come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and subjects. If there’s something you want to learn, somewhere there’s a teacher available to help.


Tutor or Teacher, What’s the Difference?

In the classic sense of the word, a teacher is someone who instructs students throughout their formative years of study. Most are good, hardworking educators. Despite their best efforts, it’s extremely difficult to get all students to their target grades solely in a school setting. There are several causes for this, from a lack of resource to simply not clicking with a student’s learning style. Whichever end of the spectrum they fit in, a teacher is there to lead your academic advancement from your younger years to at least young adulthood – whether you want them to be or not!

So, what is a tutor? A tutor is simultaneously similar and totally different to a schoolteacher. They are expert mentors, there because you want them to be. Specifically selected to act as a guide toward your goals. They take the time to get to know and support their students in a focused setting and can adapt lessons to suit any learning style.

Generally, in the UK, teachers’ and tutors’ responsibilities are as follows:


  • Take lessons attended by 30+ students
  • Must rigidly teach to the specifications of the national curriculum
  • Are responsible for the engagement of every student in their class
  • Provide lessons during school hours
  • Record and share student progress with parents around twice a year



  • Teach in a focused environment
  • Can be more focussed and controlled in the pacing of their lessons
  • Build a strong rapport with each of their students
  • Provide lessons at flexible times
  • Provide progress reports after each lesson

 Schoolteachers face battles every day that go beyond simply ensuring their students acquire a full understanding of a subject. A tutor has the time ensure no struggling student is left behind, and that advanced learners are suitably challenged. They’re expert conductors and confidantes, masters of their field. A great tutor is as adept at explaining a subject as a classic schoolteacher, without being held back by the disadvantages that a school environment can manifest.


With Things Going So Well at School, Why Would I Need a Tutor?

 Some students achieve excellent results without the need for additional tuition. That’s great when it comes to completing exams in the short-term, but also raises the danger of hitting a comfort zone that can be unexpectedly disturbed once more difficult situations arise. A tutor can help supplement the daily school learning a student undertakes. By building an intuitive rapport, a tutor effectively controls the pace of each topic covered, ensuring it’s fully understood before moving on, and introducing new challenges at the right times.

Tutors can also act as a lead educator. They can support a student where the required help is not otherwise available. For example, where a child is being home schooled, an exam is being re-taken, or a completely new subject is selected for study. With the right mentor and a proper plan, any student can achieve their goals.


 Where Do Tutors Come From?

Tutors can come from a variety of backgrounds, often being in-school educators themselves, and sometimes having real-life experience in professions that require their subject expertise daily. Choosing the right tutor is all about understanding your ultimate goals.

For instance, if studying to pass a GCSE maths exam, you might want some focused time with a full-time, qualified maths teacher. If you’re looking to improve your general maths skills or for a career change, you may benefit from learning from an experienced tutor who is also an established accountant, economist, or even aerospace engineer.

At TuitionWorks, we’ll match you with the perfect tutor to ensure your targets are hit, whatever they may be! To get in touch, email us via, or give us a call on 020 3219 7777. We’d love to speak with you.

    Ricky Galer

    Ricky Galer

    Customer Success Manager at TuitionWorks

    “I’ve been with TuitionWorks for a year now, initially working with some great people at Supporting Education Group to get us ready for launch in April 2021. Coming from a background in content creation and customer support in the travel industry, every day has been a learning day. My day-to-day role is to provide high quality support for all our users. I love hearing from parents, students, and tutors, as the more we speak the better TuitionWorks can be. My colleagues and I are always looking to ensure the service we offer is the very best available and have already made plans for some exciting developments in the future, so watch this space!
    In my personal time I like to keep fit and try – with try being the optimal word – my hand at any and every sport I can. Any other spare time I have is spent with my family”

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