Governess and Governor Course

Lesson Plan

Overall Purpose of the Course


The purpose of the Governess and Governor online course from Great British Nannies is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the role of a Governess (female) or Governor (male), in order to prepare students to train, apply, interview for and ultimately secure a new role as a Governess or Governor.

The course has been designed to cater to students of a range of different experience and qualification levels, from those without much or even any practical experience or specific childcare qualifications who have an interest in transferring to a childcare role from a different or associated field, to those already working as certified nannies or mannies, professional tutors or qualified classroom teachers who would like to move into a governess/governor role.

The course has been created by practising Governesses and Governors from a range of backgrounds, including qualified classroom and language teachers, certified nannies and experienced tutors. It aims to pass on practical experience gained over years working in different countries with families of different nationalities in order to provide detailed insights for students preparing to work in a Governess or Governor role.

It is our aim that students who have completed the course will have a clearer understanding of all aspects of the role of a Governess/Governor than someone of a similar experience level who has not taken the course, and will therefore be better placed to successfully apply, interview for and secure such a role. If they choose to apply through Great British Nannies the fact that they have completed the course and achieved a pass mark will be included in their application to highlight to families that they have already demonstrated a commitment to increasing their understanding of all aspects of the role of a Governess/Governor.

Delivery of Modules


The course is delivered online over eight modules. Each module begins with a video component to clearly and concisely introduce that module’s specific learning objectives. This is then followed by a number of text based lessons which the student works through at their own pace and can be easily referred back to. The course aims to build gradually on the student’s knowledge as they progress through the modules.

The course concludes with a test which is a combination of multiple choice questions and open-ended questions which must be answered in the student’s own words. The pass mark is 80% and on passing students will be given a certificate to demonstrate their achievement.

Specific course objectives


By the end of the course, students should:

  • Understand the difference between a Nanny (Manny)/ Governess (Governor)/ Tutor/Au Pair and the duties each role involves, and identify which role would best suit them. 
  • Be aware of the history of the Governess and the way it has developed over the years into the role it is today.
  • Know what to expect in terms of a typical day as a Governess/Governor and be aware of the different working schedules, demands and locations that the role encompasses.
  • Have a clear and detailed understanding of exactly what the job involves, the skills needed and what the families’ expectations are, as well as the salary they can expect to receive in return.
  • Know what experience and qualifications agencies and families expect Governesses and Governors to have. Understand what their options are in terms of further training, and how and where to gain the experience in childcare necessary to secure their first role.
  • Know how to find and apply for a suitable Governess or Governor role, including how to build and present an appropriate CV. Have a clear understanding of the role of an agency and know what to expect when it comes to interviews, job trials and contracts.
  • Be aware of some of the main challenges associated with starting an overseas role, and have some knowledge of how to overcome them, from how to prepare beforehand to negotiating the settling-in process once they’ve arrived.
  • Have an understanding of what it means to work for a High Net Worth or VIP family and the challenges and special circumstances surrounding that, from privacy and confidentiality issues to dealing with other household staff.
  • Have an awareness of some of the most common cultural differences that exist in three of the most popular overseas destinations for this role – Russia, China and the Middle East – and understand how families will expect their Governess or Governor to adapt to and respect these.
  • Be aware of and prepared for some of the common challenges that arise during the course of a Governor/Governess role, from feeding and bedtime routine to Special Educational Needs and parental disciplinary measures.
  • Know where to access a range of tried and tested teaching resources suitable for use with language learners of all ages, and be equipped with the skills to build their own teaching resource kit.
  • Demonstrate and feel confident in their knowledge of the specific topics covered during the course by taking the test at the end.

Sessions and Outcomes


Module One Sessions

This module details the different roles of a Governess/Governor, Nanny/Manny, Tutor and Au-Pair and describes the duties and requirements for each role. It also covers the history of the role of a Governess and traces its development up to the present day.

  • Lesson One describes the role of a Tutor.
  • Lesson Two describes the role of a Nanny/Manny.
  • Lesson Three describes the role of a Governess/Governor.
  • Lesson Four describes the role of an Au-Pair.
  • Lesson Five covers the history of the role of a Governess from its earliest beginnings to its increase in popularity during the 19th century and its development into modern times.

Outcomes of Module One

On completion of Module One, students should have a clear understanding of the different duties and requirements of a range of distinct childcare roles that are often associated with the role of a Governess/Governor, as well as the historical background behind the role of a Governess.

Module Two Sessions

This module covers the specific details of the role of a Governess or Governor, including a typical working day, what a working week might look like, the salary expectations and requirements and where roles tend to be located.

  • Lesson One gives examples of several standard working days covering different ages and schedules to give students an idea of what to expect in a typical Governess/Governor role.
  • Lesson Two details the range of standard weekly schedules from part time to full time (5 days on 2 days off or 6 days on 1 day off) as well as short term temporary, permanent and the different permutations a rota role may involve.
  • Lesson Three covers the salary range a Governess or Governor can expect.
  • Lesson Four explains where in the world the majority of Governess/Governor roles are located.

Outcomes of Module Two

On completion of Module Two, students should have a clear understanding of what to expect on a typical day in the role of a Governess or Governor, the different options they have for working full or part time, short term or permanent, where in the world they may end up working and the salary range they can expect.

Module Three Sessions

This module provides students with the tools they will need to find a job as a Governor or Governess, from examining a sample job advert in detail to understand what families and agencies require a candidate to demonstrate, to the different qualifications required and the professional development courses available to make a student’s application stand out, as well as the kind of experience necessary and how to go about gaining that, plus the importance of a First Aid Certificate and a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

  • Lesson One examines a sample job advert to ensure students understand what families and agencies are looking for.
  • Lesson Two describes the differences between three qualifications often mentioned in adverts – a PGCE, CELTA and TEFL – and relates these to the specific requirements individual families may have in order to help students decide which of the qualifications would be most appropriate for them.
  • Lesson Three details the range of professional development courses available and gives students feedback from a number of experienced governesses on specific courses they have taken, to help students understand how to evaluate the usefulness of such courses both in terms of improving their own knowledge and practice and in adding to their professional CV.
  • Lesson Four covers the kind of practical experience families and agencies look for when evaluating an application from a Governess or Governor and the different ways to gain this in order to secure a first or better-paid role.
  • Lesson Five explains the importance of a First Aid Certificate and a DBS check when applying for Governess/Governor roles and how to go about gaining both of these.

Outcomes of Module Three

On completion of Module Three students should have an understanding of the kind of requirements agencies and families have as expressed in a typical Governess/Governor job advert, an awareness of the most common qualifications requested and which one(s) may best suit them, as well as the range of professional development courses they can access plus ways to gain the practical experience required. They will also be aware of what is needed in terms of a First Aid certificate and a DBS check.

Module Four Sessions

This module guides students in detail through the process of building their own professional Governess or Governor CV in order to begin applying for roles. It also offers an introduction to the role of a governess or nanny agency and what to expect during the interview and job trial stages as well as what to look for in a standard Governess/Governor employment contract.

  • Lesson One provides an overview of how a Governess or Governor CV should look, including a list of essential sections, and offers students a range of CV templates to choose from in order to build their own Governess or Governor CV.
  • Lesson Two focuses on the Introduction section of the student’s CV, which includes how to take a professional looking profile photo, write a professional cover letter and showcase skills and experience succinctly to give a clear snapshot of themselves as a candidate to be seriously considered.
  • Lesson Three explains how to organise and present the Employment section of the student’s CV in a way that will make it understandable and appealing to families and agencies.
  • Lesson Four explains how to present the Education section of the CV in a way that highlights the areas agencies and families will be looking for.
  • Lesson Five covers how to present any of the student’s additional skills and interests in the CV that may be relevant to their application.
  • Lesson Six covers how to present any volunteering work undertaken as part of the CV, especially where the student has less formal childcare experience, in order to demonstrate their suitability for a Governess or Governor role.
  • Lesson Seven introduces the role of an agency in the recruitment process, and gives students a behind-the-scenes insight into the running of an agency from Great British Nannies’ co-founder Cleo Adamou. It also details what students can expect when registering for the first time with a governess or nanny agency such as Great British Nannies, from what documents they will need to provide to how the registration interview works.
  • Lesson Eight introduces students to the key things to be aware of when preparing for their first Governess or Governor job interview.
  • Lesson Nine gives some tips on what to expect from their first job trial.
  • Lesson Ten offers a basic list of what to look out for in an employment contract, from working hours and overtime to salary, accommodation and holiday allowance.

Outcomes of Module Four

On completion of Module Four students should have a comprehensive understanding of how to build a professional Governess/Governor CV. They will also have an insight into the role of a Governess/Nanny agency, be prepared for their first Governess/Governor interview and job trial, and have an awareness of the basic areas that should be covered in a standard Governess/Governor employment contract.

Module Five Sessions

This module provides an overview of some of the main challenges of working overseas as a Governess or Governor, as well as focusing on some of the specific needs of High Net Worth or VIP families, and some advice on travelling with one of these families.

  • Lesson One covers the main challenges associated with starting and settling in to a Governess/Governor role overseas, and offers students tips on how to smooth the process.
  • Lesson Two focuses on some of the specific needs of High Net Worth or VIP families, from confidentiality and additional security measures to how to interact with other members of what can be a large household staff.
  • Lesson Three covers the often frequent travel Governors/Governesses are expected to undertake as part of their role with HNW/VIP families and offers advice on how to anticipate and manage the challenges that travelling with such a family can bring.

Outcomes of Module Five

On completion of Module Five students will have an understanding of the challenges posed by moving overseas to take on the role of a Governess or Governor and some of the ways they can manage these. They will have an appreciation of some of the specific needs of HNW/VIP families and how they can adapt to accommodate these. They will also be aware of some of the common challenges posed by travelling with a family and will be equipped with some strategies to meet these challenges.

Module Six Sessions

This module focuses on three of the most common cultures Governesses and Governors can expect to be employed within – families from Russia, China and the Middle East – and the major cultural differences students would find it helpful to be aware of. This module is based on the real-life experiences of Great British Nannies candidates who have worked extensively with families from these cultures.

  • Lesson One covers the common cultural differences students may encounter when working for Russian families, especially in Russia itself.
  • Lesson Two covers the common cultural differences to be expected when working for Chinese families.
  • Lesson Three covers the common cultural differences found when working for Arab families, with particular reference to those based within the Middle East.

Outcomes of Module Six

On completion of Module Six students will have an understanding of some of the most common cultural differences they are likely to encounter when working for Russian, Chinese or Arab families.

Module Seven Sessions

This module concentrates on some of the most challenging circumstances that Governors and Governesses are likely to encounter during the course of their work, from issues around feeding or bedtime routine to special educational needs or controversial parental disciplinary methods. This section of the course has been based on real-life situations encountered many times by Great British Nannies’ candidates, and offers suggestions on how students could approach these issues if they do encounter them.

  • Lesson One offers advice on what to do if asked to feed/dress/supervise the toilet habits of a child who is physically and developmentally well past the age where assistance is required.
  • Lesson Two gives guidance on how to handle a situation where a charge’s lack of an age-appropriate bedtime is impacting on their learning.
  • Lesson Three covers what to do where a charge has suspected Special Educational Needs, with particular reference to how to deal with this in a culture where SEN still has a stigma.
  • Lesson Four highlights one of the trickiest issues a Governess or Governor is likely to encounter – that of parental disciplinary measures – and offers some strategies for approaching this sensitive and difficult issue.

Outcomes of Module Seven

On completion of Module Seven students will be aware of some of the common challenging circumstances they may encounter in the course of their work, and will be equipped with some techniques to approach them as well as where they might go for further advice.

Module Eight Session

This module offers students an insight into the tried and tested teaching resources, from educational games to language-level appropriate books, that some Great British Nannies candidates keep in their permanent kit.

  • Lesson One gives students examples of some experienced governesses’ preferred teaching resources, and offers tips on how to select and evaluate their own resources to form the basis of their own permanent kit.

Outcome of Module Eight

On completion of Module Eight students will have the knowledge they need to start selecting age and language-level appropriate resources that will help them in their teaching practice both in their first Governess/Governor role and beyond.

Quiz Session

This is the final part of the course and aims to test students’ knowledge of the topics covered during the previous modules. It is a combination of multiple choice questions and questions that require an answer in the students’ own words.

Outcome of the Quiz

On completion of the quiz students will have had the chance to demonstrate their knowledge of the topics covered during the course. Depending on their score, they may have also earned a certificate of achievement which can be added to their portfolio as part of their demonstration of their commitment to securing a new role as a Governess or Governor. The quiz also offers students a chance to reflect on what they’ve learned as well as analysing their own approach to teaching and childcare through the questions that require them to answer in their own words.

Before completion of the quiz students are also invited to complete a short online survey which offers them the chance to provide feedback on their learning experience to Great British Nannies. We hope to use this feedback to help us evaluate, improve and develop further courses in the future.

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